Legend of the Sage Plant
King Herod was outraged when he heard that the ancient prophecy of the birth of the Messiah and future King of the Jews will be born in his country.
Herod was a cruel and heartless King who wanted to find this Christ child and kill Him before He takes over. But King Herod didn't know where to find the baby Jesus. Therefore, he ordered his soldiers to find and kill all little boys who were born and were under the age of two.
However, an angel appeared to Joseph, the father of the baby Jesus, and warned Joseph of Herod's plans. Joseph was instructed to gather Mary and the baby and flee to Eygpt where they will be safe. Therefore, Joseph and Mary took the baby, with a donkey, and they began their travel to Eygpt.
On the way, Mary became very tired and was thirsty. The baby Jesus needed to be nursed and the donkey also needed water.
"Dear, may we stop and rest for a while?" Mary asked Joseph. "I'm very tired and thirsty and I need to feed the baby."
"Yes, I understand, dear." Joseph lovingly replied. "You rest here and feed the baby. I will go into the nearest town and gather water to bring back for you and the donkey."
Joseph headed into the nearest town as Mary sat alongside the road feeding the Holy Child. Suddenly, Mary heard shouts and cries and the noises of horse hooves approaching. Her heart began to tremble. She became terrified that she and the baby would be found. She knew if they were found the soldiers would immediately cut the throat of baby Jesus.
There were no caves or trees nearby where she could hide. But she was determined to take refuge to save her baby.
Nearby, Mary spotted a rose bush in bloom. She ran toward it, "Mrs. Rose Bush, I am on my way to Eygpt but had to stop to nurse my baby." She spoke as she frantically looked all around . "My husband went to gather water for the donkey and I, but King Herod's soldiers are coming to kill my baby. Will you be so kind as to allow me to hide behind you until his men leave?"
"Oh my, how terrible!" the proud rose bush replied. "It's just too dangerous! I don't think I'm big enough to hide you. Those soldiers are very cruel men and if they see you behind me they will crush me. I'm sorry but I just can't help you."
As Mary rushed off to find another place to hide, the rose began to grow thorns and has ever since.
Mary came upon a clove bush. "Excuse me, Mr. Clove Bush, you have so many beautiful flowers. King Herod's men are coming to kill my baby. Please, I beg you, let me hide behind you until the men pass?" Mary asked in desperation.
"I'm sorry for your misfortune," said the clove bush, "but I'm too busy putting out beautiful blooms. I can't be concerned with trying to hide you and the baby from the soldiers."
Again Mary rushed away seeking someplace for refuge. Meanwhile, the flowers on the clove began to have an unpleasant fragrance and they never gained a pleasing scent ever since.
The only plant that remained was the Sage plant.
Mary was now becoming very fearful and desperate as the soldier's were drawing very near. "Mr. Sage," Mary now beginning to weep spoke, "I beg you, please help me and my child. I'm in desperate need of a place for my child and I to hide. King Herod's soldier's are coming to kill my baby if they find us."
Sage was very kind and compassionate toward Mary, "Yes, yes, of course, I shall help you." The sage plant answered.
Just then, as Mary and the baby sat behind the sage plant it began to bloom abundantly. It created a magnificent canopy for Mary and the Christ child.
The soldier's were not able to see them and rode passed them, never suspecting a thing.
Since that time, the sage plant is considered sacred and is believed to cleanse homes, territories and people of all evil.