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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.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 25, 2020

“I will take away not the grace but the feeling of grace...

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May 25

 

“I will take away
not the grace but the feeling of grace.
Though I will seem to leave you
I will be closer to you.”

Our Lord to St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Pope St. Gregory VII

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cri...

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Pope St. Gregory VII

Pope Gregory VII was born Hildebrand in Tuscany, Italy. Little else is known of his early life. Hailed, historically, as one of the greatest of the Church's pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all time, his name, Hildebrand, meant “bright flame”. Those who hated him, which were many, interpreted the name as “brand of Hell”.

Hildebrand was a Benedictine monk, for a time living in Cluny, from whence he certainly gleaned the monastery’s ideal of societal reform.

As a cleric, he became chaplain to Pope Gregory VI, and a few years later, under Leo IX was made Cardinal Deacon. A man of outstanding energy and insight, Hildebrand became a power in Rome. It is greatly due to him that the practice of electing popes through a college of cardinals was established.

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cried out for the holy genius who had helped steer the Church for twenty years, “Hildebrand for Pope! Holy Peter wants Hildebrand, the Archdeacon!” Once before the holy monk had eluded the tiara but this time a proper college of cardinals, seconding the popular cry, induced him to accept an honor duly his.

Hildebrand assumed the name Gregory VII, and threw his energy and zeal into a continued reform, especially fighting simony (the sale of ecclesiastical posts) and clerical incontinence.

He confronted Emperor Henry IV head- on about his practice of choosing men for ecclesiastical positions. On meeting with dogged resistance, the pontiff finally had recourse to excommunication which drastically curtailed the proud monarch’s power, ultimately bringing Henry on foot to the Pope at the Castle of Canossa. Because of Henry’s rebellious obstinacy, Pope Gregory saw fit to leave him out in the cold for three days before receiving and reinstating the royal penitent.

But Henry failed to make any true personal reform and alienated his princes who elected another ruler. Still, he later rallied and went as far as electing another Pope, a Clement III, calling down upon himself another sentence of excommunication. He also attacked and entered the Eternal City in 1084, which forced Pope Gregory into exile. Henry had his protégée “pope” crown him Emperor. Ultimately repelled by an army fighting for the true pope, the Emperor Henry left Rome, but complications sent Gregory VII again into exile, this time to die.

His last words before his death were a summary of how he had lived, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

 

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There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.

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