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St. Rose of Lima

St.Rose of Lima is the first person born in America to be canonized. She is known for her life of severe asceticism and also famed for her beauty.

She was born in Lima, the Viceroyalty of Peru to Gasper Flores and Maria de Oliva y Herrera on April 20,1586. She was named Isabel Flores de Oliva. She was so pretty and a great sight to behold from the time she was born. When she was so small, one of the servants in her household saw her face transform into a rose for a second. From that day, she was nicknamed Rose and the name stuck on.

She was an ardent devotee from the time when she was small and practiced several penances. When she was not allowed to do so much severe sacrifices, she did it in seclusion. She badly wanted to be a nun but was not allowed by her parents. She took the oath of celibacy and swore never to marry.

She was so beautiful that she attracted many suitors. To mar her appearance she would rub pepper on her face to blacken it and cut her hair very short. Her parents tried their best to convince her to come out of her vows to God but she wouldn’t budge. She used to fast daily and gave a permanent abstainment to meat. She loved gardening and grew many flower plants. She used to sell the flowers in the market and give it to the needy. She did fine needlework and she sold off those too to feed the poor.

Seeing her sincerity, her parents finally gave in to her vow of celibacy but did not want her to become a nun and go away from them. So she joined the Third Order of St.Dominic and continued to serve the Lord while staying with her parents. She prayed and prayed all times of the day and night and allowed herself to sleep for only two hours a day. She made a heavy crown of silver with thorns that is a replica to the Jesus’ crown of thorns and wore it all day. The crown got so much into her skull that it was with much difficulty it was taken out of her head.

After leading a severe life of austerity, she breathed her last at the age of 31 on August 25, 1617. When she died the entire city of Lima smelled like roses and some say roses fell from the sky at the time of her death. St.Rose’s skull was exhumed and reconstructed and adorned with a skull of roses and is kept at the Basilica at Lima.

Feast – August 23

Patron of – Latin America, Philippines, Gardeners, Sewing, embroiders.

St. Rose of Lima Prayers

Prayer to God through St.Rose

God our Father, for love of You,
St. Rose gave up everything
to devote herself to a life of penance.
By the help of her prayers may we imitate
her selfless way of life on earth and enjoy
the fullness of Your blessings in heaven.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, Who lives and reigns with
You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Prayer to St.Rose

Admirable Saint Rose, you were truly a sweet flower blooming on a rugged soil; you were indeed a rose among thorns, bearing with meekness and patience the stings of envious tongues, and preserving perfect purity and modesty amid the alluring blandishments of a deceitful world. To the sufferings inflicted on you by others you added the voluntary tortures of fasting and watching, of the discipline, of the crown of thorns and of the hair shirt, to subdue the flesh and to make yourself like to your heavenly Spouse. By the merits which you have thus gained with your divine Bridegroom, obtain for me the grace to bear my afflictions with patience, to remain pure and modest, to be meek and humble, to be faithful to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and so to mortify my passions that I may be ever more pleasing and acceptable in the sight of my dear Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.

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