St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617)
Saint Rose of Lima is the virgin patroness born in Lima, Peru April 20th, 1586. She died in Lima on August 23rd, 1617. At her confirmation in 1597, she took the name of Rose, because, as a child, her face had been transformed by a mystical rose. As a child she was remarkable in her great reverence and love for all things relating to God. Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.46.57 PMThis resulted in her giving her life to Him in prayer and mortification. She had an intense devotion to the infant Jesus and His Blessed Mother. She was obedient to her parents instruction, to her studies, and to her domestic work which included sewing.
At the outset she had to combat the opposition of her parents, who wished her to marry. For ten years the struggle continued before she won their consent to continue her mission. At the same time great temptations tested her purity, faith, and caused her great agony. However, Our Lord manifested Himself, fortifying her with the knowledge of His presence and consoling her mind with divine love. Fasting daily was soon followed by perpetual abstinence from meat. Her days were filled with acts of charity and labor through her exquisite lace and embroidery.
When her work permitted, she retired to a little grotto that she had built with the help of her brother and spent her nights in solitude and prayer. Overcoming the opposition of her parents she was allowed to become a recluse in this isolate place except for her visits to the Blessed Sacrament. At age twenty she received the habit of St. Dominic. She then increased the severity and variety of her penances to a greater degree by wearing a metal spiked crown, concealed by roses, and an iron chain around her waist. Days would pass without food except for a small amount of water. When she could no longer stand, she rested on a bed of broken glass, stone, and thorns. She admitted that the thought of lying down on it made her tremble with dread. She continued this practice for fourteen years.
Our Lord revealed Himself to her frequently, flooding her soul with peace and joy. At times she offered to Him all her mortifications and penances in exchange for offenses against His Divine Majesty, for her country, for the conversion of sinners, and for souls in purgatory. Many miracles followed her death. She was beatified by Clement IX, in 1667, and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, the first American to be so honored. Her feast is celebrated August 23rd. She is represented wearing a crown of roses.