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August 23

St Rose of Lima - August 23

Saint Rose of Lima

Third Order of Saint Dominic, Laywoman

(1586 – 1617)

“When we serve the poor and the sick we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.

Saint Rose of Lima

Saint’s Life Story

Her New Name – Rose

Isabel Flores de Oliva was born on April 20, 1586, in Lima, Peru to Gaspar Flores and María de Oliva y Herrera. She was one of thirteen children to her parents who were of Sapnish descent, at a time when South America was in its first century of evangelization. At an early earl age, Rose was pious. At age five, she built a small chapel for herself in the family garden. Her later nickname “Rose” comes from an incident in her infancy when a servant claimed to have seen her face transform into a rose. In 1597, Isabel was confirmed by the Archbishop of Lima, Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo. She formally took the name of Rose (Rosa in Spanish) at that time.

Her Youth

With Saint Catherine of Siena as her model, Rose fasted three times a week and performed severe penances in secret. After daily fasting, she took to permanently abstaining from eating meat. When she was admired for her beauty, Rose cut off her hair and rubbed pepper on her face.  Against the objections of her friends and her family, she rejected all suitors. Despite the censure of her parents, she spent many hours contemplating the Blessed Sacrament, which she received daily. This was an extremely rare practice in that period. She was determined to take a vow of virginity, which was opposed by her parents who wished her to marry. Finally, out of frustration, her father gave her a room to herself in the family home.

Cared for Sick and Hungry People

Rose helped the sick and hungry around her community, bringing them to her room and taking care of them. To help her family, she sold her fine needlework and took flowers that she grew to market. She made and sold lace and embroidery to care for the poor.  Rose prayed and did penance in a little grotto that she had built. Otherwise, she became a recluse, leaving her room only for her visits to church.

Third of St. Dominic

She attracted the attention of the friars of the Dominican Order. She wanted to become a nun, but her father forbade it, so she instead entered the Third Order of St. Dominic while living in her parents’ home. In her twentieth year she donned the habit of a tertiary and took a vow of perpetual virginity. She only allowed herself to sleep two hours a night at most, so that she had more hours to devote to prayer. She donned a heavy crown made of silver, with small spikes on the inside, in emulation of the Crown of Thorns worn by Christ. She moved into a small hut in her parents’ garden and served the poor and the sick in a makeshift infirmary. Our Lord frequently manifested Himself to her, filling her heart with peace and joy, leaving her in ecstasy for hours. In her last long, painful sickness, this heroic young woman prayed: “Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart.”

Her Death

For eleven years Rose lived this way, with intervals of ecstasy. Exhausted from her many penances and austerities, Rose died of a fever and paralysis at the young age 31, on August 24, 1617, in Lima, Peru. It is said that she prophesied the date of her death. Her funeral was held in the cathedral, attended by all the public authorities of Lima. Rose became the first person born in the North or South Americas to be canonized a saint.

Born:                   April 20, 1586 in Lima, Peru

Died:                   August 24, 1617 at Lima, Peru

Beatified:           April 15, 1668 by Pope Clement IX

Canonized:        April 12, 1671 by Pope Clement X

Feast Day:          August 23

Patron Saint:    Diocese of Santa Rosa, California; Embroiderers; Florists; Gardners; Latin America; Peru; Philippines; South America; West Indies



Saint Rose reminds Christians that, although outward beauty may be a God-given blessing that points towards the glory of God, it is infinitely less important than one’s inward virtue and dedication to God.

Do you sometimes focus too much on your outward appearance and not enough on your inward beauty? Know that God only cares about your love and compassion for him and others. If you love God and others, then to God and others you are a stunningly beautiful and handsome person.

Source: Saint Rose of Lima (1586-1617) | Saint Mary’s Press (


Saint Rose of Lima, you were young and holy. You dedicated your body and soul to God while still a child. Through your example and through your heavenly intercession, help all Catholics, especially the young, to dedicate their lives to God from the very start.

Saint Rose of Lima, pray for me.

Source: Saint Rose of Lima, Virgin – My Catholic Life!

Saint Links 

Aleteia – St. Rose of Lima reminds us that grace comes through suffering

All Saints & Martyrs – Saint Rose of Lima

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 4 January – St Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821)

Angelus – Saint of the day: Rose of Lima

A Reason2BCatholic – Saints Alive! | St. Rose of Lima

Catholic Exchange – St. Rose of Lima: An Unrepeatable Saint by Cari Donaldson

Catholic Fire – St. Rose of Lima

Catholic Ireland – Aug 23 – St Rose of Lima

Catholic News Agency – Is this what Saint Rose of Lima looked like?

Catholic Online – St. Rose of Lima

Catholic Saints Guy – St. Rose was beautiful!

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Rose of Lima

Franciscan Media – Saint Rose of Lima

Independent Catholic News – St Rose of Lima

Loyola Press – Saint Rose of Lima Feast day August 23

My Catholic Life – Saint Rose of Lima, Virgin

New Advent – Aymé, E. (1912). St. Rose of Lima. In The Catholic Encyclopedia

Saints, Feast, Family – Saint Rose of Lima’s Story

Saints for Sinners – Saint Rose of Lima

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

uCatholic – Saint Rose of Lima

Wikipedia – Rose of Lima

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