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Rose of Lima

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Saint Rose of Lima, , the first Catholic saint of the Americas, was born in Lima, Peru.


St. Rose was born April 20 1586 , in the city of Lima, the capital of Peru. She received the baptismal name Isabel Flores de Oliva. She was from a large family. Her father Gaspar Flores, and her mother Maria de Oliva, were both from Spain. She was personally confirmed by Lima Archbishop Turibius de Mongrovejo. Her nickname Rosa (Rose) was due to her beauty. And as she grew older she grew more and more beautiful.

In emulation of St. Catherine of Siena she fasted three times a week with secret severe penances. When she was admired, St. Rose cut off her hair against the objections of her friends and her family. Upon the censure of her parents, St. Rose disfigured her face with pepper and lye. She was very upset that she was so beautiful and hurt herself to help others.

Rose began to tell of visions, revelations, visitations and voices as her parents deplored her penitential practices more than ever.

Many hours were spent contemplating the Blessed Sacrament which she received daily. She determined to take a vow of virginity in opposition to her parents who wished her to marry. Her Vita emphasizes "her excruciating agony of mind and desolation of spirit, urging her to more frequent mortifications."

Daily fasting turned to perpetual abstinence from meat. Her days were filled with acts of charity and industry. St. Rose helped the sick and hungry around her community. She would bring them to her home and take care of them. St. Rose sold her fine needlework, grew beautiful flowers and would take them to market to help her family. Her exquisite lace and embroidery helped to support her home, while her nights were devoted to prayer and penance in a little grotto which she had built. She became a recluse leaving the grotto only for her visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

She took the name of Rose at her confirmation in 1597. In her twentieth year she had so attracted the attention of the Dominican Order that she was permitted to enter a Dominican convent in 1602 without payment of the usual dowry. She donned the habit and took a vow of perpetual virginity. "Thereafter she redoubled the severity and variety of her penances to a heroic degree, wearing constantly a metal spiked crown, concealed by roses, and an iron chain about her waist. Days passed without food, save a draught of gall mixed with bitter herbs. When she could no longer stand, she sought repose on a bed constructed by herself, of broken glass, stone, potsherds, and thorns. She admitted that the thought of lying down on it made her tremble with dread."

For fourteen years this self-martyrdom continued without relaxation, with intervals of ecstasy (CE) until she died, at the age of 31. Her funeral was attended by all the public authorities of Lima, and the archbishop pronounced her eulogy in the cathedral.The Feast Day of St. Rose of Lima is August 23.


St. Rose was beatified by Pope Clement IX in 1667, and canonized in 1671 by Pope Clement X as the first Catholic in the western hemisphere to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Her shrine, alongside those of her friend St. Martin de Porres and Alonso Abad, is located inside the convent of Santo Domingo in Lima, Peru. The Roman Catholic Church says that many miracles followed her death. All the places named Santa Rosa in the New World pay homage to this saint. Pope Benedict XVI has a special devotion for this saint.

Her liturgical feast was celebrated initially on 30 August, because 24 August was the feast of the apostle Bartholomew but the calendar reform of Vatican II moved her feast day closer to the anniversary of her death. She is now remembered liturgically on 23 August, except in Peru and other Latin American countries where her feast is kept as a public holiday on the traditional date of August 30.

She is the patroness of Lima, Peru, the Americas and the Philippines, and the city of Sittard, in the Netherlands. In addition to this, she is also the patron saint of the city of Santa Rosa, California in the United States which literally means St. Rose in Spanish.

Early Lives of Santa Rosa were written by the Dominican Father Hansen, Vita Sanctae Rosae , and Vicente Orsini, afterward Pope Benedict XIII wrote Concentus Dominicano, Bononiensis ecclesia, in album Sanctorum Ludovici Bertrandi et Rosae de Sancta Maria, ordinero praedicatorum, Venice, 1674).

She is depicted wearing a metal-spiked crown, concealed by roses, and an iron chain around her waist.

There is a park named after her, in downtown Sacramento. A plot of land at 7th and K streets was given to the Roman Catholic Church by the honorable Peter Burnett, first governor of the State of California. The reverend Father Peter Anderson would build one of the first of two churches in the diocese to be consecrated in honor of Saint Rose of Lima.

See also

Santa Rosa de Lima, places named for her

Sources and external links

Flowers Lima

Rose of Lima

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Rose of Lima