Our Patroness, St. Rose of Lima (Peru), Was born Isabel Flores de Oliva on April 30, 1586. Her nickname of Rose was bestowed upon her by her mother when she was three months old after a servant girl commented on Isabel being beautiful as a rose while sleeping. While evident early on that Rose was an exceptional child, when she was barely five years old she pledged herself, body and soul, to Jesus. When Rose was sixteen she dedicated herself to caring for her ailing father and grandmother, and making exquisite lace work to sell to nobility to support her parents and ten siblings.
St. Rose received the black mantle and white habit of the Third Order of St. Dominic on August 10, 1606. She wore the habit at home as a member of the Order of Penance of St. Dominic. While strong in spirit and faith, Rose was frail of body. In addition to being afflicted with a disease called verruga which caused severe anemia and eruptions of the skin, Rose further inflicted distress upon her body to remove the God-given beauty which offended her humility.
While she tormented herself, she was conversely compassionate to others. So as to not leave her ailing grandmother, she brought sick or orphaned children home and cared for them there. Her ability to heal the sick puzzled those who were aware of it. A panel of examiners sought to understand her source of healing ability and named her the mystic Doctor. Around 1614 Rose was faced by the Inquisition to determine if her visions and prophecies derived from divine sources. The result of this inquisition was to confirm her saintliness.
In August of 1617 Rose became agonizingly ill and died on the 24th of that month. She was laid to rest in her habit in the church of St. Dominic. Rose was beatified on April 15th, 1668 by Pope Clement IX and became St. Rose on the 12th of April 1671 when canonized by Pope Clement X. The remains of St. Rose, patron Saint of South America, the Philippines, sailors and of our church, are entombed in St. Rose of Lima Church erected on the site of her birthplace.