St. Rose of Lima, Member 3rd Order of St. Dominic.
“Grace follows Tribulation”
Isabel Flores de Olivia, who was born in 1586 in Lima, Peru to Spanish Colonists, was an exceptionally beautiful woman who would later be called St. Rose of Lima.
Peruvians remember Rose especially for her piety and chastity.
Today she is Patroness of the Country of Peru and is greatly honored in public celebrations by all Civic groups on her Feast day, August 30.
HOW SHE GOT THE NAME ‘ROSE’
According to legend, one of the family’s servants had a vision in which she saw Rose’ face turn into a rose. At her confirmation in 1597, Isabel officially took the name of Rose.
From an early age, Rose had a desire to enter religious life, often praying while secretly fasting and performing difficult penances. She received Holy Communion daily and spent long periods of time in daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
As a young woman, her beauty began to attract suitors. To deter these men, Rose disfigured her face and cropped her long beautiful hair.
Rose’ parents opposed her plan to take a vow of chastity, wishing, instead, that their beautiful daughter enter a suitable marriage, in keeping with the family’s status in the community. This clash resulted in some family discord. Eventually, her father relented, and provided Rose with a special room in their home, just for herself.
Rose kept herself cloistered in her room, spending long periods in prayer. It was said she slept only two hours per night so as to have more time for prayer. In her fasting regime, she declined eating meat altogether, which was an extreme dietary restriction for that time period.
Upon reaching the age of twenty (20), Rose was permitted to join the Third Order of St. Dominic. She continued a life of extreme prayer, fasting and penance. She was known to wear a heavy silver crown, with spikes that could pierce her flesh, to remind her of Jesus’ Crown of Thorns.
Rose died on August 25, 1617, at the age of 31. According to legend, she accurately predicted the date of her death. Her funeral was said to be a major event, attended by all the authorities of the City of Lima.
Pope Clement IX beatified Rose in 1667 and Pope Clement X declared her a Saint, canonizing her in 1671. St. Rose Feast Day is celebrated on August 23 around the world, although in some countries, like Peru, it is celebrated on August 30.
Today, visitors to Lima can visit the St. Rose Family Home which is now a Shrine in honor of the Saint who grew up there. Her Chapel and Cell where she lived and prayed are preserved in their original state and tourists can visit and pray at these sacred places.
Tourists to St. Rose Shrine are also directed to the nearby Shrine of St. Martin de Porres of Lima, who was a spiritual advisor/companion of St. Rose of Lima.
St. Rose of Lima is the patroness of embroiderers, gardeners, florists, those who suffer ridicule for their piety, and people who suffer with family misunderstandings and problems.