The Legend of Pepita and Pedro

It is said that the Poinsettia did not always have the beautiful red flowers but was just another lowly weed that grew everywhere. The legend of the Poinsettia goes back several centuries. A charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. 

It was a custom in many villages to honor the Christ child by bringing gifts for him to the church as a part of the Christmas festivities. One year, as little Pepita and her family were preparing to go to the festivities, she was so sad because she didn't have a nice gift to take for the baby Jesus. As they were walking to the church, she told her cousin Pedro about how ashamed and sad she was not to have a gift. 

"I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes," said Pedro consolingly.

Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet. Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness of her offering. Of course she was also teased by other children when they arrived with their gift, but Pepita said nothing for she knew she had given what she could. She fought back a tear as she entered the small village chapel.

As she approached the alter, she remembered Pedro's kind words: "Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes." She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.

Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes.

From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season.


Christmas       St. Nicholas Day         Poinsettia Day        Hanukkah         Kwanzaa