"I will be like the dew for Israel: he will blossom like the lily; He will strike root like the Lebanon cedar" - Hosea 14:6
While this Bible verse speaks of the lily, scripture scholars have debated whether the passage actually speaks more about another plant that is, in fact, found native to the land of the Bible: the iris.
The iris takes its name from the Greek word for "rainbow", and its meanings have come to include faith, hope and wisdom. Irises may also express courage and admiration.
In terms of Catholic tradition, the iris is a rival of the lily as the flower of the Virgin Mary. It appears as a religious symbol in the works of the early Flemish masters, where it both accompanies and replaces the lily in paintings of the Virgin. This symbolism developed because its name means "sword lily", which refers to Mary's sorrow at Christ's Passion. Spanish painters adopted the iris as a characteristic of the Queen of Heaven and as an attribute of the Immaculate Conception.
Irises: handsome, showy plants with a long and rich history.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."