Rose of Lima (1586-1617), Patroness of the Americas,
is the first canonized saint of the New World. Born on Peruvian
soil, Saint Rose was Spanish, but it is almost
certain that her maternal great-grandmother was Incan.
She was the tenth
of thirteen children, and her mother
experienced no pain at her birth. Though exquisitely
beautiful (hence her nickname, Rose), she refused to
marry, and while helping support her family by
needlework and growing flowers, she practiced heroic
charity and lived as a Dominican Tertiary in her parents’ home.
Rose tenderly cared for the sick, even those with
repulsive wounds, and she often obtained miraculous cures
for people from the Child Jesus.
other occasions, she worked miracles in order to feed
the members of her family, and became known as “Mother
of the Poor.” Rose continually prayed and offered her
sufferings for the conversion of the idolatrous Incas. In
the year 1615, through her prayers, the Blessed Sacrament
and the people of Lima were spared attack by savage
Rose was a friend and confidant of Saint Martin de
Porres, who lived in the same city. She was confirmed by
Mogrovejo, Archbishop of Lima. Her
mystical experiences caused an ecclesiastical inquiry. Though
dead at only 31, Saint Rose’s love of God was so
intense that she was recognized as a saint in her own time
and was canonized by the Church just 54 years later, in
1671 by Pope Clement X.
life is a spotless mirror in which we see ourselves,
whatever our color, our station, our land and our age,
whatever our chosen vocation. Like Saint Thérèse of
Lisieux, Rose took our Lord by the heart. In taking him,
she took his church. Her life is our boast, our crown, our
defense, and a challenge to love completely. [From
SAINT ROSE OF LIMA by Sister Mary Alphonsus, O.SS.R.]
Saint Rose is the
only American saint whose words appear
in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. One quote: “When
we serve the poor and the sick we serve Jesus. We must
not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve
statue of Saint Rose is in the niche on the north wall
which is closest to the Blessed Mother’s altar. The window
behind the statue incorporates a cross and a rose—symbols
associated with Saint Rose. Stained glass windows, two
on the north wall and one on the south wall, show scenes
from her life (baptism, first communion, and religious life).
Above the tabernacle is another image of Saint Rose. On
both sides of this image, the white roses represent the rose
given to her by the Child Jesus and the lilies represent
Saint Rose, through
prayer and love you developed
your true beauty.
Help fill my life
with the love and beauty that
comes from God.