Rose of Lima
|Saint Rose of Lima, T.O.S.D.|
Saint Rose of Lima
by Claudio Coello (1642-1693), Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain
April 20, 1586|
Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru
|Died||August 24, 1617
Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion|
|Beatified||April 15, 1667 or 1668, Rome by Pope Clement IX|
|Canonized||April 12, 1671, Rome by Pope Clement X|
|Major shrine||Monastery of St. Dominic
August 30 (some Latin American countries and pre-1970 General Roman Calendar)
|Attributes||rose, anchor, Infant Jesus|
|Patronage||embroiderers; gardeners; florists; India; Latin America; people ridiculed or misunderstood for their piety; for the resolution of family quarrels; indigenous peoples of the Americas; Peru; Philippines; Santa Rosa, California; against vanity; Lima; Peruvian Police Force|
Saint Rose was born Isabel Flores y de Oliva in the city of Lima, the Viceroyalty of Peru, then part of New Spain. She was one of the many children of Gaspar Flores, a harquebusier in the Imperial Spanish army, born in San Germán on the island of San Juan Bautista (now Puerto Rico), and his wife, María de Oliva, a native of Lima. Her later nickname "Rose" was a testament to her evident holiness. When she was a baby, a servant claimed to have seen her face transform into a rose. In 1597 she was confirmed by the Archbishop of Lima, Turibius de Mongrovejo, who was also to be declared a saint. She formally took the name of Rose at that time.
As a young girl—in emulation of the noted Dominican tertiary, St. Catherine of Siena—she began to fast three times a week and performed severe penances in secret. When she was admired for her beauty, Rose cut off her hair and smeared pepper on her face, upset that suitors were beginning to take notice of her. She rejected all suitors against the objections of her friends and her family. Despite the censure of her parents, she spent many hours contemplating the Blessed Sacrament, which she received daily, an extremely rare practice in that period. She was determined to take a vow of virginity, which was opposed by her parents, who wished her to marry. Finally, out of frustration, her father gave her a room to herself in the family home.
Daily fasting turned to perpetual abstinence from meat. Her days were filled with acts of charity and industry. Rose helped the sick and hungry around her community. She would bring them to her room and take care of them. Rose sold her fine needlework, grew beautiful flowers, and would take them to market to help her family. Her exquisite lace and embroidery also helped to care for the poor, while her nights were devoted to prayer and penance in a little grotto which she had built. Otherwise, she became a recluse, leaving her room only for her visits to church.
The fame of her holiness became so widespread among the populace of the colonial city, that she attracted the attention of the friars of the Dominican Order. She wanted to become a nun, but her father refused to allow this. Out of obedience to him, instead she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic, remaining in her parents' home. In her twentieth year she donned the habit of a tertiary and took the vow of perpetual virginity for which she had longed. She donned a heavy crown made of silver, with small spikes on the inside, in emulation of the Crown of Thorns worn by Christ.
For eleven years this self-martyrdom continued without relaxation, with intervals of ecstasy, until she died on August 24, 1617, at the age of 31, having prophesied the date of her death exactly. Her funeral was held in the cathedral, attended by all the public authorities of Lima, and it was the archbishop himself who gave her eulogy...
Rose was beatified by Pope Clement IX on April 15, 1667, and canonized on April 12, 1671, by Pope Clement X, the first Catholic in the Americas to be declared a saint. Her shrine, alongside those of her friends, St. Martin de Porres and Saint John Macías, is located inside the convent of St. Dominic in Lima. The Roman Catholic Church mentions the many miracles that followed her death. Stories have been heard that she has cured a leper. Many places are named Santa Rosa in the New World and pay homage to this saint. Pope Benedict XVI emeritus is especially devoted to her.
Her liturgical feast was inserted into the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1729 for celebration initially on August 30, because August 24, the anniversary day of her death, is the feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle and August 30 was the closest date not already occupied by a well-known saint. Pope Paul VI's 1969 reform of the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, made August 23 available, the day on which her feast day is now celebrated throughout the world, including Spain, but excluding Peru and some other Latin American countries, where August 30 is a public holiday in her honor.
She is the patroness of indigenous people of the Americas; of gardeners; of florists; of the City of Lima; of Peru; of the New World; of Sittard, the Netherlands; of India; of people misunderstood for their piety and of the resolution of family quarrels.
Early lives of Santa Rosa were written by the Dominican Father Hansen, "Vita Sanctae Rosae" (2 vols., Rome, 1664–1668), 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).
There is a park named for her in downtown Sacramento, California. A plot of land at 7th and K streets was given to the Roman Catholic Church by Peter Burnett, first Governor of the State of California. Father Peter Anderson built one of the first of two churches in the diocese to be consecrated under the patronage of St Rose.
In the Caribbean twin-island state of Trinidad and Tobago, the Santa Rosa Carib Community, located in Arima, is the largest organization of indigenous peoples on the island. The second oldest parish in the Diocese of Port-of-Spain, is also named after this saint. The Santa Rosa Church, which is located in the town of Arima, was established on April 20, 1786, as the Indian Mission of Santa Rosa de Arima on the foundations of a Capuchin Mission previously established in 1749.
The public may see Rose's skull in the basilica in Lima, Peru. It was customary to keep the torso in the basilica and pass the cranium around the country, inviting all to venerate and gaze. She has a crown of roses on her cranium. The skull is also displayed with that of St. Martin de Porres, whose skull is also separate from his torso.
On the last weekend in August the Fiesta de Santa Rosa is celebrated in Dixon, New Mexico.
- Teodoro Hampe Martínez. "Santa Rosa de Lima y la identidad criolla en el Perú colonial" (essay of interpretation), Revista de Historia de América, No. 121 (January – December, 1996), pp. 7–26
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Saint Rose of Lima|
- Patron Saints Index: Saint Rose of Lima Retrieved on 2008-08-23.
- AmericanCatholic.org "St. Rose of Lima"
- Catholic Encyclopedia (1912), New York: Robert Appleton Co., retrieved 2011-12-07
- Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 101
- Downtown Sacramento Partnership site: St Rose of Lima Park
- The History of the Sacramento Diocese, second paragraph
- Santa Rosa Carib Community