Vine and Grapes
As an important crop in ancient Palestine, the VINE is an Old Testament symbol of abundance. Their association with the wine of THE EUCHARIST gives them a vital symbolic purpose. When seen with WHEAT, GRAPES symbolize the wine used in the Eucharist. In the New Testament, the vine symbolizes Jesus (John 15:5). A vineyard can also symbolize the Church.
Fruits bursting with seeds, POMEGRANATES are symbols of fertility and bounty. A single pomegranate may also symbolize the Church, as it has many segments and seeds within the one fruit. In classical mythology, Persephone was the daughter of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Demeter, the goddess of the harvest. She was so beautiful that Hades, god of the underworld, took here to be his queen. When Demeter discovered this, she went to reclaim her. But Persephone had eaten four pomegranate seeds while in the underworld, which gave Hades a claim on her. She was therefore to live in the underworld for one month each year for each seed she had eaten, during which time winter would reign.
An alternative tradition names他和BRAMBLE，rather than ACACIA, as the plant within THE BURNING BUSH. With THORNS and THISTLES, brambles may symbolize earthly hardship, or desolation: “Thorns will overrun her citadels, nettles and brambles her strongholds. She will become a haunt for jackals, a home for owls”(Isaiah 34:13)
The ROSE symbolizes purity, and THE VIRGIN MARY. St Ambrose related a legend of the rose. Before the Fall, he said, the rose had no thorns. When it developed them after the Fall, it was as a poignant reminder of the disaster that had taken place: the beauty and scent of the rose was to remind humankind of the paradise that it had lost, while the thorns were a reminder of the barrier that had been created and the suffering humankind had now to endure. Roses therefore show heavenly joy, when they are worn by angels or persons who are in heaven. Derived from the same legend, Mary is sometimes called the ‘rose without thorns’, because she was thought to have been without sin. If you look carefully at images of the Virgin Mary that also show roses growing, you should see that the stems are smooth. Mary also took the rose as an attribute since it was the flower of Venus，Roman goddess of love，and because of verse from the Song of Solomon that was thought to relate to her：‘I am a rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys（2：1).
The blood-red rose is a symbol of martyrdom, the white a symbol of purity and perfect beauty.
Taylor, R. (2007). How to read a church. Singpore: Tien Wah Press.
Photos taken by the blog’s author