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John Stokes and Mary's Gardens

The Mary's Gardens movement was founded by John S. Stokes Jr. in 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to research the hundreds of flowers named in medieval times as symbols of the life, mysteries and privileges of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus — as recorded by botanists, folklorists and lexicographers; and to assist in the planting of "Mary Gardens" of "Flowers of Our Lady" today.

Stokes compiled an extensive website beginning in the 1980s which he eventually donated to the care of the Marian Library. It was officially transferred in early 2010. The content on on these web pages is authentic to Stokes' original website. Therefore, it is possible that some text, hyperlinks and the like are outdated.

Stokes archives, manuscripts, artwork and personal library were also donated to the Marian Library. The transfer was complete in May 2013. Browse digitized highlights from the collection.

All About Mary includes a variety of content, much of which reflects the expertise, interpretations and opinions of the individual authors and not necessarily of the Marian Library or the University of Dayton. Please share feedback or suggestions with


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