Rose of Lima
|Saint Rose of Lima|
St Rose of Lima, the first saint from the Americas. Painting by Claudio Coello (1642-1693), Museo del Prado, Madrid
|Born||April 16, 1586|
Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru
|Died||August 24, 1617 (aged 31)|
Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion|
|Beatified||April 15, 1667 or 1668, Rome byPope Clement IX|
|Canonized||April 2, 1671, Rome by Pope Clement X|
|Majorshrine||convent of Santo Domingo in Lima, Peru|
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; native Indian peoples of the Americas;Peru;Philippines; Santa Rosa, California; against vanity; Lima; Peruvian Police Force|
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Saint Rose of Lima was born in the city of that name, the daughter of Gaspar Flores, aharquebusier from San German, Puerto Rico, and his wife, Maria de Oliva, who was a native of Lima. She was part of a large family. She received the baptismal name of Isabel (Elizabeth). Her latter 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 personally confirmed by the Archbishop of Lima, the holy 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 Saint 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, against the objections of her friends and her family, and disfigured her face with pepper and lye. She was very upset that she was so beautiful, and hurt herself to deter the suitors beginning to take notice of her. Despite the censure of her parents, she spent many hours contemplating the Blessed Sacrament, which she received daily. She was determined to take a vow of virginity, in opposition to 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 theDominican 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.
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 gave hereulogy.
Rose was beatified by Pope Clement IX on April 15, 1667, andcanonized on April 12, 1671 byPope Clement X, the first Catholic in the Americas to be declared a saint. Her shrine, alongside those of her friends, St. Martin de Porresand Saint John Macías, is located inside the convent of St. Dominic in Lima. The Roman Catholic Churchmentions the many miracles that followed her death. Stories have been heard that she has cured a leper. Many places are namedSanta Rosa in the New World and pay homage to this saint. Pope Benedict XVI 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 native Indian people of the Americas and their beneficence, of gardeners, of florists, of Lima, of Peru, of the New World,of Santa Rosa, California, and ofSittard, 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 in honor of St Rose.
In the Caribbean twin-island state of Trinidad and Tobago, theSanta 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 R.C. Church, which is also located in the town of Arima, was established on April 20, 1786 as the Indian Mission of Santa Rosa de Arima by on the foundations of a Capuchin Mission previously established in 1749.
The public may see the cranium of Santa Rosa, 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. She is also displayed with San Martin de Porres, who also has the cranium separate from the torso.
On the last weekend in August the Fiesta de Santa Rosa in celebrated in Dixon, New Mexico.
Teodoro Hampe Martínez: Santa Rosa de Lima y la identidad criolla en el Perú colonial (Ensayo de interpretación) Revista de Historia de América, No. 121 (January – December, 1996), pp. 7–26
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