Lindsay Bourque wrote today’s entry:
Passifloras have been the subject of religious symbolism since times predating its use in the courtyards of Aztec kings and priests. In South and Central America, it was often associated with sun-gods. Upon Christianity’s displacement / assimilation of indigenous beliefs from the peoples of South and Central America, the symbolism of Passiflora was altered. In the early part of the 17th century, Emmanuel de Villegas, an Augustan friar of Mexican birth, traveled to Rome with his sketchbook containing an illustration of Passiflora caerulea. He showed this to a scholarly monk, Jacomo Bosio, telling him of its sacred meaning for Mexican Christians. Bosio, who was working on a book of sacred Christian symbols, drew parallels in the flower’s anatomy and the Passion of Christ, from whence it takes its name:
Five petals and five sepals are the ten apostles (leaving out Judas the betrayer and Peter because he denied knowing Jesus), the three pistil stigmas are nails, the dark spots under the leaves are the 33 pieces of silver paid to Judas and the five stamens are the number of wounds; in South and Central America the flower is still referred to as “The Flower of the Five Wounds” by Catholics.