Monday, February 14, 2011

SANTA ROSA DE LIMA: Virgin and Tertiary

Virgin & Tertiary

            Isabel de Santa Maria de Flores was born at Lima, Peru in 1586 of Spanish Indian parents and took the name of Rose at confirmation.  At a very early age, she made Saint Catherine of Siena her model and was particularly devoted to the Virgin Mary.  Noted for her beauty, she resisted her parents’ efforts to have her marry and at a very early age made a vow of virginity, a resolution in which she persevered until death, despite the misunderstanding and persecution of her family.

She inflicted on herself, terrifying penances and suffered long periods of dryness and desolation, which were, however, balanced by many extraordinary graces culminating in the Mystical Espousals.

                        At the age of 20, Saint Rose became a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic.  She continued to live at home, assisting her impoverished family by doing needlework and raising flowers for the market.  She likewise cared for the poor and sick of the area in an empty room of their house.  Her garden became the spiritual center of the city.

                   In ill health, she accepted the offer of Don Gonzalo de Massa and his wife to take care of her and she spent the last three years of her life in their home in Lima.  So widespread was her reputation for sanctity that when Saint Rose died, on August 24, 1617, the day which she herself has predicted, the throngs of devotees surrounding her bier made it almost impossible to bury her.

                        Pope Clement X canonized her on April 12, 1671, thus making her the first canonized saint of the Western hemisphere.  Saint Rose of Lima is the sworn patroness of Latin America.

            O God, you made Saint Rose, inflamed in your love, abandon the world and dedicate herself entirely to you through the rigors of penance; grant , through her intercession, that following on the same way she did, we may come to enjoy in Heaven the torrents of your delights. This we ask you through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

            FEASTDAY:  AUGUST 23

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