She was as beautiful as a rose.
Struck by her radiant beauty, those around Isabel Flores de Olivia fondly called her Rose. As she grew older, her beauty only deepened, and the name Rose stuck. Upon her confirmation, St. Rose of Lima formally took the name Rose.
Rose was born in Lima, Peru, in 1586 to Spanish parents. Her beauty and virtue attracted numerous eligible men, but Rose was devoted only to Our Lord and desired to be His bride through a vocation as a nun.
Yet, due to her young age and her parents’ hesitation, she was unable to enter a convent. Undeterred and resolute in her desire, St. Rose took a private vow of chastity and turned away the many suitors.
Eventually, struck by their daughter’s commitment, her parents relented and allowed Rose to remain in a private room to live a life of personal prayer and penance. At the age of 20, Rose became a Third Order Dominican and continued her life of prayer, fasting, and penance.
Though Rose sought seclusion, the many miracles attributed to her gave her a reputation throughout Peru as a holy and wise woman. Legend tells us of one such miracle that occurred around the time St. Rose entered the Dominicans.
Dutch pirates had invaded Lima’s harbor, defeating the Peruvian fleet. Due to the religious division resulting from the Protestant Reformation, they intended not only to loot the city but also desecrate the Catholic churches. The women, children, and religious of Lima took refuge in the churches.
In the church of Santo Domingo, Rose stirred them all to prayer. It is said that as pirates burst into the church, they were confronted with the terrifying spectacle of a young girl ablaze with light, holding a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament.
They turned away and fled to their ships, which sailed away.
St. Rose of Lima died on August 25th, 1617 at the age of 31. Tradition says that St. Rose predicted and expected her death, eagerly waiting to join her Lord in heaven. When the day that she predicted came, St. Rose passed away peacefully and the entire city of Lima was filled with the scent of roses.
Just 50 years later, she was canonized by Pope Clement in 1667, becoming the first canonized saint born in the Americas.
You can honor St. Rose of Lima with this beautiful rose-scented rosary—the perfect companion for your daily prayer. The lovely rose scent of the beads makes it a powerful and calming prayer piece. Perfect for a devotee of St. Rose of Lima or any woman on a special occasion. Get yours today at The Catholic Company!