St. Rose of Lima (Feast: August 23)
Born Isabel Flores y de Oliva in Lima, the capital city of Peru, her nickname, “Rose,” came from a childhood incident in which a household servant attested to having seen the child’s face turn into a mystical rose.
She took the name formally as her own, at her confirmation in 1597 by the saintly Archbishop of Lima, Turibio de Mogrovejo.
Remarkable, even as a child, for her great reverence and love for all that related to God, she developed an intense devotion to the Infant Jesus and His Holy Mother, and gave herself up to a life of prayer and mortification. Industrious and adept, she became very proficient in the arts of sewing, embroidery and lace-making, and used her needle to help support her home and family, and as a means to assist the many poor who came to depend on her generous alms.
In imitation of St. Catherine, whom she took as a saintly role model, she fasted three times a week, wore rough clothing, and roughened her face and hands to combat the temptations to vanity. She spent hours on her knees before the Blessed Sacrament and contrary to the usual practice of the time, was a daily communicant.
Assailed by tremendous temptations against the Faith and the virtue of purity, which caused her excruciating agony of mind and desolation of soul, she multiplied her mortifications and prayers, and with her confessor’s approval, took a vow of virginity.
In this last resolve, Rose had to combat the opposition of her parents, who wished her to marry. The battle of wills continued for ten years until, won over by her patience and prayer, they gave their consent to her decision.
At the age of twenty, Rose received the habit of St. Dominic as a tertiary Dominican. From that moment onwards, the severity and variety of her mortifications redoubled.
With her brother’s help, she built herself a little cell from sun-dried bricks in the garden behind their home. Here she would retire at night for solitude and prayer and take whatever rest she permitted her body on a bed of broken glass and pottery, rough stones and thorns. She took to wearing an iron chain around her waist and a metal-spiked crown concealed about her head. Entire days without food would be followed by sleepless nights spent in prayer. During her suffering, Our Lord fortified her with the knowledge of His presence and consoled her with His love, frequently revealing Himself to her and drawing her soul into ecstasies that lasted for hours.
During these sublime embraces with God, she offered Him all her penances and mortifications in reparation for the offences against His Divine Majesty, for the sins of idolatry, for the conversion of sinners, and for the souls in Purgatory.
During her last illness, her constant prayer was "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart.” Rose died in 1617 at the age of thirty-one years.
She was beatified by Clement IX in 1667 and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, thus becoming the first American-born saint.
DAILY QUOTE for September 29, 2020
In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that Blessed Thomas of St. John was a great devotee of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.