Feast Day: 23 August
St Rose of Lima is the patron of Peru, South America, and the Philippines.
Her name was Isabel de Flores. She was born in Lima, Peru on 20 April 20 1586. Her father was a Puerto Rican, who had come to Peru in 1548 with the Spanish conquistadors. She received the name Rose when a housemaid, gazing upon her when she was still an infant, remarked: “She’s as lovely as a rose.” Her mother decided that Rose would be her daughter’s name, and later she was given that name at the time of confirmation.
As a young girl growing up, Rose was given to austerities: fasting and mortification. Because her parents denied her permission to enter a convent, and because she preferred not to marry, she endured much misunderstanding from her parents and friends. She continued, however, to remain at home, but she lived a secluded life.
To do her share in supporting the family, she did needlework and sold the flowers she cultivated. When she was twenty years of age, she joined the Third Order of St Dominic and converted a little hut in the backyard into a hermitage, where she often went to pray. She also transformed a room in her parents’ house into a sort of infirmary, where she cared for destitute children and elderly people.
She died on 24 August 1617, at the age of thirty-one, and she was canonised by Pope Clement X in 1671. St Rose of Lima is the first saint from the Americas.