Saint Rose of Lima did, in the plan of the communion of saints, what was necessary to save America.
Newsroom (August 23, 2021 Gaudium Press) Born in Lima, Peru, on March 20, 1586, she was baptized Isabel Flores de Oliva but became known as Rosa, the name given to her by the Archbishop of Lima, Saint Toribio de Mongrovejo, when she was confirmed.
She was a beautiful young woman who practiced austere penance, taking Saint Catherine of Siena as her model. Inclined to religious life from her earliest years, Saint Rose took a vow of virginity and fought for ten years against her parents who wanted to force her to marry.
When it came to mortification, no one surpassed her. Once, when she was overwhelmed by a thousand worries, she heard the voice of the Lord saying to her: “He who gave his life and his blood for you will also take care of your body. The natural laws were created by him and are for him.
Saint Rose’s daily life
St. Rose devoted ten hours of her day to prayer, ten hours to work, and only what was left was given over to sleep. Each day, she was assailed by terrible torments for hours at a time. She feared that the Lord had abandoned her, as she considered this torment worse than death. But then she felt strengthened by new sensitivities of divine grace.
At the age of twenty, she became a Dominican Sister, under the protection of Saint Catherine of Siena. She lived in a cell in the garden of her father’s house and helped her parents by doing embroidery and taking care of the flowers that the family later sold. In this house, she received constant supernatural communications. Her love for God was so ardent that when she spoke of Him, her face lit up.
The prayer of St. Rose de Lima
She confessed to a commission of theologians who questioned her about her prayer:
“Praying does not cost me any work. My energies concentrate in my interior like iron attracted by a magnet, and I feel intoxicated by such sweetness that no evil is possible. My heart burns. I feel God in my whole being and I am absolutely certain of His adorable presence. Such contemplation does not tire me, and my only joy is to feel God present in my soul. To be deprived of Him would be hell for me, and nothing created could console me”.
Last years of life
She spent the last years of her life in the house of Gonzalo de Massa, enduring with all patience and resignation a long and painful illness.
The last request that came from her lips at the hour of her death was for her mother: “Lord, I leave her in your hands. Give her strength, do not allow her heart to be torn apart by sadness.” As soon as she died, her mother was overcome by such consolation and joy that she had to withdraw to hide the happiness that her face showed.
She died on August 24, 1617, at the age of 31.
She is the first native saint of America and patroness of Peru.
Her fame of sanctity spread throughout the entire continent, giving rise to countless miracles and conversions. Saint Rose aroused around herself a spirit of penance and mortification which curbed the conditions for the outbreak of evil.
Let us ask St. Rose of Lima to intercede for us so that – like her – we may have the courage to let ourselves become saints.
Saint Rose of Lima and the value of divine grace
If only mortals knew the value of divine grace, how beautiful, noble and precious it is; how many riches it holds within itself, how many treasures, how much joy and delight!
No doubt, then, they would use all their efforts and care to find sorrows and afflictions!
They would go all over the earth to seek, instead of fortunes, embarrassments, annoyances and torments, in order to possess the inestimable treasure of grace.
This is the initial purchase and profit of patience. No one would complain about the cross or the sufferings that would come to him, perhaps, if he knew the scales where they are weighed to be distributed to men (From the writings of Saint Rose of Lima, virgin).
 SCHAMONI, Wilhelm. The true face of the saints. Barcelona, 1951.
Compiled by Zephania Gangl