The thing was that someone had gone out to gather these 'flowers', to encourage people to pray for me. The pledges of 'Sunday Masses' were from people who were normally lapsed, who were encouraged to make the effort to go to Mass for me, the 'spiritual communions' were from the divorced and remarried who were unable to offer actual communions. I was ordained in what was then one of the most liberal parishes in the diocese. Half the Parish Council seemed to write for the Tablet. The contributors to the bouquet were not from the middle class members of the parish but from the 'peripheries' the people of the two large estates of people who hardly ever set foot in their own parish church, who found its religion had moved on from them - Joe Shaw has an interesting post on the loss of the working classes. I had spent the month or so before my ordination visiting and inviting people to my ordination, not with much success, most had lapsed in the previous 15 years but some good soul had followed me around, picking flowers from thorns.
Pope Francis was a bit 'sniffey' recently when a trad group gave him a spiritual bouquet of 3,525 rosaries, he called it 'Pelagian', I suppose it could have been but I would prefer to think of it as being an act of evangelisation, a way of getting people to pray or make sacrifices and also to get people to catechise people in prayer. In Seoul at the moment there is a campaign to get people to pray for the Canonisation of "Fr. Choi Yang-oeb, Paul Yun Ji-choong and his 123 companions, killed in hatred of the faith during the persecutions of the XVIII - XIX century. The purpose is to recite 100 million mysteries for each martyr, a total of 12.5 billion prayers."
That is a lot of bead counting, is it a bad thing or is it a good way of promoting devotion to the Mother of God and these holy martyrs?