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“Lili Rosa”, the rose bush of love 

“I am the Carrier of the Rose. Now is a sacred moment in my history, for I am back in my homeland. It is a great gift. I can still hear, not far from here, the echoes of the song of my childhood – a song that would one day go on to inspire “Joan of Arc at the Stake” by Arthur Honegger – on the square outside Troyes Cathedral.

I left this city almost 30 years ago, and I have now returned to plant my Rose, Lili Rosa. She will grow and flourish in the soil of this land and will etch her Floral Heart on the walls of History – of the Middle Ages, of Troyes, of this Medieval city. The Rose is a ubiquitous symbol of a crossing of paths, of the heady mixture of Faith and Love.

The Rose has been steeped in mythology since the dawn of time.

She has no age.
If Lili had a profession, she would be a Prima Ballerina.
Lili sits on her bench, reading.
Her face is the very incarnation of grace and elegance.
She wears the thousand different faces of Love, and her face is now reflected in the Rose.
Perhaps you noticed that, when she arrived, seated on her bench, she fixed her gaze on the wall of the Hôtel Dieu – the precise location where here Flower now grows?
She was waiting for her Rose. She was giving us a Sign. The Rose bears her Perfume.
Lili and her Flower are but one and the same person.
In my heart, Lili will always be the most beautiful Rose.

Lili Rosa, the Rose of Love is a climbing rose bush of the Generosa family, with a pearl-white and orange flower and a powerful scent. It is the Face of Universal Love. As of today, Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2014, it is now the absolute and eternal symbol of Lovers around the World – right here in Troyes.

I believe in the sacred virtues of Beauty and Love, and in the inimitable power they have over us.

Like a child, my eyes shine bright with the idea of this Rose. We are now writing and engraving a new Myth on the walls of our city. May Lili Rosa live long in our hearts, and may the Life of a Rose last for an eternity. Lili Rosa, the Rose of Love now has her own place in History, as one of the Great Roses.

Christian Hanak, Author of Roses