Saint Rosa of Lima - WYD2013 Patron of the Week

Last edited 5th November 2012

Saint Rosa of Lima - WYD2013 Patron of the Week

Isabel Flores of Olive was born in Lima to a family that was deeply rooted in Christian values and education. Her family nicknamed her ‘Rose’ as she was such a beautiful baby. Growing up, Rose participated in the spiritual life of the Dominican community through their spiritual center in colonial Lima at St. Dominic’s Cathedral. There she regularly received the Lord in the Eucharist, and learnt to pray. At the age of 20 she felt called to contemplative religious life, but to live this call within her family life.

Rose found a way to enter the Order of Preachers of St. Dominic’s. She built a small chapel in the yard of her father’s house, where she spent countless hours in prayer. From there, she served the poor and sick of Lima, who would come to her house looking for help.

Rose lived a profoundly spiritual life with a strong foundation in prayer and discipline. She explains in her writings that discipline is necessary to be filled by the Holy Spirit, to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and to be able to go beyond oneself and truly change the world.

Rose becomes an advocate for, and symbol of, the value of prayer. Despite her personal perseverance in prayer for 15 years, Rose suffered a spiritual aridity that she overcame, and consequently strengthened her relationship with God. Other pillars of her spiritual life included the Eucharist, and her deep devotion to the Virgin Mary. She was a great proponent of praying the Rosary, saying that every Christian “should preach it to the world and have it engraved on their heart.”

St. Rose of Lima was not a nun; rather she was a lay tertiary, spending most of her life at her family home as she worked hard to help support the family. She was renowned for her incredible beauty, but was so devoted to her vow of chastity that she used pepper and lye to ruin her complexion so she would not be attractive. St. Rose was a mystic and visionary, who received many mental and physical sufferings, including invisible stigmata.

She died a saintly death at the age of 31 in 1617. Her canonization took place in 1671, making her the first Saint to be born on the American continent.

She is the Patron Saint of South America and the Philippines.

Help me in my search of faithfulness to God's will for my life. Amen.

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