"No, the world's fairest rose I saw at the altar of the Lord," said the pious old bishop. "I saw it shine like the face of an angel. The young maidens went to the Lord's altar to renew the promises of their baptism, and roses were blushing and shining on their fresh cheeks. A young girl stood there; with all the purity and love of her young spirit she looked up to God. That was the expression of the highest and purest love!"
"May her love be blessed!" said the wise old man. "But not one of you has yet named to me the world's fairest rose."
There came into the room a child, the Queen's little son. Tears were in his eyes and on this cheeks, and he carried a great open book; its binding was of velvet, held with huge silver clasps.
"Mother!" said the little one. "Oh, hear what I have read!"
And the child sat beside the bed and read from the book of Him who had suffered death on the cross to save mankind, even those not yet born.
"Greater love there is not!"
And a roseate color spread over the Queen's cheeks, and her eyes again became big and clear, for she saw the loveliest rose rise from the leaves of the book, the image of the rose that sprang from the blood of Christ shed on the cross.
"I see it!" she said. "He who sees this, the world's fairest rose, shall never die!"