Saint of the day
St. Rose of Lima
This South American saint was born in Lima, Peru, in 1586. Her real name was Isabel, but she was such a beautiful baby that she was called Rose. She received the Sacrament of Confirmation from St. Turibio, archbishop of Lima. We celebrate his feast on March 23. As Rose grew older, she became more and more beautiful. One day her mother put a wreath of flowers on her head to show off her loveliness to friends. But Rose was not impressed. She only wanted Jesus to notice her and love her.
Rose did not think she was special because of her physical beauty. She realized that appearance had nothing to do with what a person was on the inside. Because of this, Rose avoided being concerned with her looks and focused on the beauty of her soul. She knew that she would be spiritually beautiful with prayer, penance, and the practice of virtue.
St. Rose worked hard gardening and sewing to support her parents who were very poor. She humbly obeyed them, too, except when they tried to persuade her to marry. That she would not do. Her love for Jesus was so great that when she talked about him, her face glowed. Rose wanted to live for Jesus alone. She joined the Dominican Third Order and lived in a little hut on her parent’s property.
She had many temptations from the devil. There also were times when she had to suffer terrible loneliness and sadness. During those times, God seemed far away. Yet she cheerfully offered all these troubles to him. She kept praying for her trust to grow stronger. In her last long, painful sickness, this heroic young woman used to pray: “Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase your love in my heart.” She was just thirty-one when she died on August 24, 1617, in Lima.
St. Rose of Lima was proclaimed a saint by Pope Clement X in 1671. He also named her patroness of the Americas, Philippines, and West Indies.
St. Rose of Lima did not take pride in her physical beauty. She tried to grow spiritually beautiful for Jesus. When we’re overly concerned with our appearance, we can ask St. Rose to help us focus on what’s really important in our lives.