Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 9:57 AM
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St. Rose of Lima

Lima Peru is known as the city of three saints, one was their holy archbishop, St. Turibius of Mongrovejo and the other was the Dominican friar, St. Martin de Porres.   This week we memorialize the Peruvian mystic, St. Rose of Lima.    She was born on April 16, 1586 to a wealthy Spanish family and was given the name Isabel.  There were many legends about how she received the name “Rose”, one claim is that a maidservant saw her face transform into a rose on one occasion, another story is that she was so beautiful that it was said she was as beautiful as a rose.   Probably the most popular story, and perhaps the most credible is that at her confirmation, the saintly Archbishop Mongrovejo mistakenly called her “Rose” and the name stuck. 


She had a deeply pious spirituality, always seeking to eradicate the sins of pride and vanity from her soul.  She practiced many self-imposed forms of penance and even mortification, as a form of disciplining herself.   She cut her hair so as to discourage potential suitors because she had vowed to live of life of chastity and poverty.   Much to the disapproval of her family who had desired her to marry, Rose spent hours in prayer and had a cell made for her apart from the family compound and near to where the Blessed Sacrament could be adored by her daily.   After more than a decade of struggling with her family’s wishes, Rose finally entered the Dominican Order and made her vows public.    Rose understood that the Christian way of life was meant to be a life of discipline, self-denial and that a rejection of oneself was the true path to holiness.   She knew that only in imitating the Lord Jesus’ ultimate love, the cross, could one delve into the heart of Christianity.   She wrote “apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.” 


St. Rose’s life is a reminder to us that we must guard against vanity and selfishness.   We can so often get caught up in the pleasures of life, in the perception others have of us, and in the materialism that so corrupts our souls and separates us from the God who so loves us.   Following in Rose’s example we must practice detachment from all that distracts us from seeing God’s goodness to us.  Many of us are truly blessed with family, friends, security, homes, jobs, life, love and so many other wonderful gifts from God.   Unfortunately we sometimes obsess with obtaining even more, less precious and important things.   It is important for us to refocus ourselves every day on the truly remarkable blessings from God and appreciate the wonders God does for us.   Perhaps we aren’t called to the austerity of St. Rose’s life, but we are called to be men and women dedicated to God and detached from the treasures of the earth and seek only the Kingdom of God.   May St. Rose of Lima inspire in us the heart of a grateful servant and attached only the love of Jesus Christ crucified for us.  





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