King Herod was outraged when he heard that the ancient prophecy of birth of the Messiah and future king of the Jews in his country. Since he didn't knew where to find Baby Jesus and kill him, this cruel and heartless dictator ordered his soldiers to find out and kill all the children under the age of two, so that he could be safe from his would-be enemy. However, angels had already warned Joseph in his dream about the forthcoming disaster and he rushed off with Mary and Baby Jesus from Bethlehem to cross the borders of the kingdom of Judea and escape to Egypt. The distance was long and people were so afraid of the strangers that none came out to help them or offer them shelter or even water.
Yet, Joseph and Mary strived to get away from Judea while hiding from
Herod's mercenaries. Once during the journey, Mary couldn't just go on
without some water. Their donkey was thirsty as well and baby needed to
be nursed. Thus, they halted on the roadside where Mary nursed the Holy
Child while Joseph went to the nearest village to get some water for
them and a drink for the donkey too. Suddenly, Mary heard shouts and
cries and the approaching noise of the horses' hooves. Her heart
trembled with fear. She knew that if Herod's soldiers caught her, they
would cut the throat of the baby mercilessly. There was not a cave or a
tree nearby, where she could hide. Yet, she was desperate for a refuge.
Seeing a rose bush in bloom nearby, Virgin Mary requested her for a
place to hide but Rose, proudly refused to offer her any help, as then
it would be in danger of being crushed by the soldiers. Ever since then,
rose has thorns on it. Mary rushed to a clove bush nearby for help as it
had plenty of flowers to hide her and the infant but she refused too
saying she was too busy putting up blooms. Since then, clove has
ill-smelling flowers. The only bush that remained was Sage plant. Sage
was kind and charitable and when the Virgin approached her with a
request to hide her and the baby, it readily blossomed abundantly and
created a canopy for the Mother and the Child. The soldiers passed by
them, without suspecting a thing. Since that time, the sage plant is
considered sacred and is believed to possess many curative powers.
Read legend of the sage plant, Christmas story about sage and Mother Mary, Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus Christmas story here.