St. Rose of Lima – Our Patroness

Isabela de Oliva, + 1617 at age 31; Peruvian mystic; nicknamed “Rosa” because of her beauty; OP tertiary who lived a life of penance and solitude, caring for the homeless, elderly and sick; first declared saint of the New World (1672); patroness of South America, especially Peru; also of florists and gardeners. Proclaimed by Pius XII as Secondary Patroness of the Philippines.

St. Rose of Lima is “our saint” since she is the patroness of our school. Although she was from a different time and culture (Peru had been colonized by the Spaniards only about 50 years before St. Rose was born in 1586—a world far different from ours!) there is a lot in St. Rose’s life that can serve as model for us.

St. Rose deeply wanted to consecrate her life to God. Her parents resisted this and hoped she would marry, preferably someone rich! St. Rose eventually prevailed, however, and she lived as a Third Order Dominican in a hut in her parents garden. Her life was marked by penance, prayer, and concern for the poor. St. Rose had a strong sense of social as well as personal sin. She undertook many penances, some of which may seem strange to us today, especially in a culture which tries to eradicate all pain and suffering. And she suffered many illnesses. But St. Rose knew that sufferings endured for the love of Christ don’t come without the graces necessary to endure them.

Her life of prayer led her to concern for the poor—she provided food and medicines (in the form of herbs!) from the garden which surrounded her. All who encountered St. Rose said that she seemed to glow with the love of God. When she died at the age of thirty-one she was revered by the entire city of Lima and later became the first canonized saint of the New World and secondary patroness of the Philippines. That’s why we notice that we have a lot of Sta. Rosa in our country (like Sta. Rosa Laguna, Sta. Rosa in Bulacan, etc.)

Let us ask St. Rose to pray for us and for our school; that we might become more like “our saint” and glow with the love of God!

St. Rose of Lima

Virgin, patroness of America and secondary Patroness of the Philippines , born at Lima, Peru 20 April, 1586; died there 30 August, 1617.

At her confirmation in 1597, she took the name of Rose, because, when an infant, her face had been seen transformed by a mystical rose. As a child she was remarkable for a great reverence, and pronounced love, for all things relating to God. This so took possession of her that thenceforth her life was given up to prayer and mortification. She had an intense devotion to the Infant Jesus and His Blessed Mother, before whose altar she spent hours. She was scrupulously obedient and of untiring industry, making rapid progress by earnest attention to her parents instruction, to her studies, and to her domestic work, especially with her needle.

After reading of St. Catherine she determined to take that saint as her model. She began by fasting three times a week, adding secret severe penances, and when her vanity was assailed, cutting off her beautiful hair, wearing coarse clothing, and roughening her hands with toil. All this time she had to struggle against the objections of her friends, the ridicule of her family, and the censure of her parents. Many hours were spent before the Blessed Sacrament, which she received daily. Finally she determined to take a vow of virginity, and inspired by supernatural, adopted extraordinary means to fulfill it. At the outset she had to combat the opposition of her parents, who wished her to marry. For ten years the struggle continued before she won, by patience and prayer, their consent to continue her mission.

At the same time great temptations assailed her purity, faith, and constance, causing her excruciating agony of mind and desolation of spirit, urging her to more frequent mortifications; but daily, also, Our Lord manifested Himself, fortifying her with the knowledge of His presence and consoling her mind with evidence of His Divine love. Fasting daily was soon followed by perpetual abstinence from meat, and that, in turn, by use of only the coarsest food and just sufficient to support life.

Her days were filled with acts of charity and industry, her exquisite lace and embroidery helping to support her home, while her nights were devoted to prayer and penance. When her work permitted, she retired to a little grotto which she had built, with her brother’s aid, in their small garden, and there passed her nights in solitude and prayer. Overcoming the opposition of her parents, and with the consent of her confessor, she was allowed later to become practically a recluse in this cell, save for her visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

In her twentieth year she received the habit of St. Dominic..
Many miracles followed her death. She was beatified by Clement IX in 1667, and canonized by Clement X, the first American to be so honored. Her feast is celebrated 23 August. She is represented wearing a crown of roses.



Lyrics: Sr. Leonarda Muncada, A.R.
Music: Sr. Cleofe Maria J. Agua, A.R.

Hail to you, our dear St. Rose of Lima
Hail to you, O glorious virgin, Spouse of Christ.
Through your singular prerogatives and favor
God has enriched you in your mortal life.

Hail to you, St. Rose of Lima
Hail to you, spouse of Christ
Fragrant rose admiration of nations
We implore you, intercede for us in our needs.



O Glorious St. Rose, you served God in humility and confidence in earth,
are now in the enjoyment of his beatific vision in heaven
because you persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life.
Remember now the dangers that surround us
in this vale of tears and intercede for us in our needs, difficulties and anxieties. Amen.


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