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Saturday, August 23, 2014

St. Rose of Lima, Pray for Us!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of us loved Jesus the way Rose of Lima did? Her name was really Isabella, but she was such a beautiful infant everyone called her Rose. She lived a quiet life making a little hermitage in the back yard of her family's home, refused to marry, and even did things to disfigure her beauty like rub her face with pepper. She didn't want the young men flocking around her like bees to a flower. Here's a brief summary of her heroic life:
When her parents fell into financial trouble, she worked in the garden all day and sewed at night. Ten years of struggle against her parents began when they tried to make Rose marry. They refused to let her enter a convent, and out of obedience she continued her life of penance and solitude at home as a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. So deep was her desire to live the life of Christ that she spent most of her time at home in solitude. 
During the last few years of her life, Rose set up a room in the house where she cared for homeless children, the elderly and the sick. This was a beginning of social services in Peru. Though secluded in life and activity, she was brought to the attention of Inquisition interrogators, who could only say that she was influenced by grace. (Read more here.)
Rose was the first saint of the Americas. She died in 1617, only 31-years-old, was beatified 50 years after her death, and canonized a few years later.  What a wonderful saint for our coddled age! We would do well to imitate her humble life.

I am happy to have two little granddaughters named after her, Amelia Rose and Marianna Rose. Happy feast day, girls!

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