August 23 we celebrate the Feast of St. Rose of Lima, a great saint and intercessor for the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)!
Isabella Flores was born in Peru in 1586, and received the name Rose at her confirmation. To earn money for her struggling family, Rose spent her days working in the gardens and her nights sewing.
Known for her beauty, many suitors came to ask for her hand in marriage. Although her family wanted her to marry, Rose made a vow of virginity and eventually joined the Third Order of St. Dominic (what we now call the Dominican Laity).
Rose was a very devout young woman, promoting the rosary and offering her prayers for those in need, especially foreign missionaries. As an act of penance she wore a silver crown with small studs/spikes on her head, but hid it under a crown of roses so as not to draw attention to herself. Like her contemporaries St. Juan Macias and St. Martin de Porres, she served the poor and the sick of Lima. She even set up a small residence to care for homeless children.
St. Rose died in 1617, and was canonized in 1671; making her the first canonized saint of the New World. She is the patron of Peru, South America, embroiderers, florists and gardeners.
St. Rose of Lima pray for us!
In Christ and St. Dominic,
Western Dominican Friars
Note: Feature image is The Mystic Betrothal of St. Rose of Lima, artist: Nicolas Correa