August 23rd marks the Feast Day for St. Rose of Lima, patron saint of florists and gardeners. St. Rose was canonized in 1671 as the first saint from the Americas, known as the First Flower of America and the Patroness of the New World.
When she was an infant, her mother and others witnessed a mystical rose descend from the air and light upon her face, and from then on she was called by the name Rose instead of her given name, Isabel.
Saint Rose of Lima is often pictured with a crown of roses; during her life she was known to wear a crown of metal spikes concealed under her garland of roses. To help support her family she would sell flowers and hand stitched lace and embroidery.
After reading about St. Catherine of Siena, St. Rose considered her a worthy model. She would fast at least three times a week and would secretly add severe penances. When she was admired for her beauty she cut her hair or disfigured her face in order to avoid the temptation to vanity. She received the Blessed Sacrament daily and would spend much of her time alone in a grotto in her family’s garden.
Read in detail the fascinating life of this saint here.
God our Father, for love of You,
St. Rose gave up everything
to devote herself to a life of penance.
By the help of her prayers may we imitate
her selfless way of life on earth and enjoy
the fullness of Your blessings in heaven.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, Who lives and reigns with
You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.