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Memorial of St. Rose of Lima

Today is the feastday of our Sr. Rose Mary of the Sacred Heart, CP, one of the first four local vocations to our monastery.
Born: August 23, 1929
Professed: August 5, 1949
Died: April 1, 2004

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The first canonized saint of the Western Hemisphere, Rose of Lima (1586-1617) might also be considered a type of the special vocation of contemplative-in-the-world.  Inspired by the example of St. Catherine of Siena, Rose became a Dominican lay tertiary and devoted herself to works of active charity while living a life of extreme austerity.  She longed to evangelize the Indians, not at all discouraged by the thought that they would probably kill her. St. Martin de Porres and St. John Masias were among her friends. She died at the age of 31, praying, "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase your love in my heart."

Rose of Lima, a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic, was the "first blossom of sanctity that South America gave to the world." Hers was a life heroic in virtue and penance. She expiated the evils perpetrated by the conquerors of the land in their lust for gold. For many her life was a silent sermon of penance. Pope Clement X stated in the bull of canonization: "Since the discovery of Peru no missionary has arisen who effected a similar popular zeal for the practice of penance."

Already as a five-year-old child (born 1586), Rose vowed her innocence to God. While still a young girl, she practiced mortifications and fasts that exceeded ordinary discretion; during all of Lent she ate no bread, but subsisted on five citron seeds a day. In addition, she suffered repeated attacks from the devil, painful bodily ailments, and from her family, scoldings and calumnies. All this she accepted serenely, remarking that she was treated better than she deserved. For fifteen years she patiently endured the severest spiritual abandonment and aridity. In reward came heavenly joys, the comforting companionship of her holy guardian angel and of the Blessed Virgin. August 24, 1617, proved to be the day "on which the paradise of her heavenly Bridegroom unlocked itself to her."

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Patron: Against vanity; Americas; Central America; embroiderers; florists; gardeners; India; Latin America; needle workers; New World; people ridiculed for their piety; Peru; Phillipines; diocese of Santa Rosa, California; South America; vanity; Villareal Samar, Phillipines; West Indies.

Symbols: Crown of roses and thorns; needle and thimble; spiked crown; iron chain; Anchor Holy Infant; roses.

Things to Do:

Earlier Event: August 15
Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
Later Event: August 26
Memorial of Bl. Dominic Barberi, CP