On the occasion of the fourth centenary of the death of Saint Rose of Lima (1586-1617) Pope Francis highlighted the love for Creation of the first Saint of the American Continent.
Cardinal Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, Archbishop Emeritus of Quito, Ecuador, the Pope’s Special Envoy to Peru, transmitted the message during a celebration in Lima’s Cathedral on August 30, 2017.
In the message, the Pope encouraged “fervent devotion to Saint Rose of Lima, so that she obtains from God many benefits for the whole Archdiocese of Lima, in Peru, and for the whole world.
Describing the Saint as a “lily among thorns,” and paying tribute to her “loving passion to obtain for all eternal life in Christ,” the Holy Father recalled that she “became friends with the Lord from her childhood.”
“Inflamed by the example and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint Catherine of Siena, she offered her life totally to God,” he added. The Pontiff also recalled her love for “the whole of Creation,” in particular when she invited “every living being to praise the Creator.”
Pope Clement X canonized Saint Rose of Lima in 1671; she is the first Saint of the New World. She was celebrated on August 30 until 1970, when her feast day was changed to August 23, except in Peru.
The Roman Martyrology states that after “an already very mortified childhood,” she took the habit of the Sisters of the Dominican Third Order. She gave herself “to penance and prayer,” dedicating herself “with ardent zeal” for the salvation of sinners and Indians, ”for whom she wished to give her life” and imposed on herself “all sorts of austerities” to “win them for Christ.”
Her renown and devotion spread very quickly outside Peru’s borders: from 1671 writings on her life were published in Latin, and then in French.