The Passion Flower has become a symbol of Christianity visually depicting the Crucifiction of Jesus Christ. Historically it has been associated with Jesuit priests in South America during the early 17th century. The legend of the Passion Flower originated with a Mexican Augustinian Friar, Emmanuel de Villegas, who reported it in Europe in the year 1610. It includes the following:
The flower is said to be clearly designed by the Creator to represent Christ's passion. It opens and closes both revealing and hiding it's mystery. The edible fruit (some varieties) is sweet and the plant has medicinal qualities. The Star of Bethlehem (half-opened flower), the 30 pieces of silver (round spots underneath the leaves), the vinegar sponge (the style), the Apostles (10 petals i.e. Twelve less Judas who betrayed Christ and Peter who denied Him) and the burial spices (fragrance) can also be found.