jeudi 30 août 2012

Sainte ROSE de LIMA, vierge religieuse dominicaine


Sainte Rose de Lima

Vierge

(1586-1617)

Rose naquit à Lima, au Pérou, le 20 avril 1586, et reçut au Baptême le nom d'Isabelle. Sa mère, penchée sur son berceau, ayant cru apercevoir une rose épanouie sur son visage, s'écria: "Désormais, tu seras ma "Rose", changement de nom qui fut confirmé par la Sainte Vierge dans une vision qu'eut plus tard la jeune fille.

La vie de cette petite Sainte a été une suite ininterrompue de souffrances volontairement acceptées et héroïquement supportées. Dès son bas âge, Rose comprit que la vraie sainteté consiste avant tout à accomplir ses devoirs d'état. Une source de difficultés lui vint de concilier l'obéissance à ses parents avec la fidélité aux appels intérieurs dont le Ciel la favorisait. Elle s'ingénia à trouver le moyen d'obéir à la fois à Dieu et à sa mère. Décidée à ne chercher à plaire à personne qu'à Dieu, elle portait néanmoins une couronne de fleurs imposée par sa mère; mais elle sut y cacher à l'intérieure une aiguille qui faisait de cet ornement un instrument de supplice.

À l'exemple de sainte Catherine de Sienne, Rose se voua à une vie de pénitence. Dès son enfance, elle s'exerça au jeûne et put le pratiquer à un degré héroïque. Elle ne mangeait jamais de fruits. À six ans, elle jeûnait le vendredi et le samedi. À quinze ans, elle fit voeu de ne jamais manger de viande. Plus tard, elle ne mangea qu'une soupe faite de pain et d'eau, sans sel ni autre assaisonnement. Toutes les nuits, elle se frappait cruellement avec des chaînettes de fer, s'offrant à Dieu comme une victime sanglante pour l'Église, l'État, les âmes du purgatoire et les pécheurs. Non contente du lit de planches sur lequel elle reposa longtemps, elle se fit un lit avec des morceaux de bois liés avec des cordes; elle remplit les intervalles avec des fragments de tuiles et de vaisselle, les acuités tournées vers le haut. Rose coucha sur ce lit pendant les seize dernières années de sa vie.

La vraie sainteté ne réside pas dans la pénitence du corps, mais dans celle du coeur, qui est impossible sans l'humilité et l'obéissance. Toutes les austérités de Rose étaient soumises à l'obéissance; et elle était toujours prête à tout abandonner. On s'étonnera que ses directeurs aient pu approuver dans une si frêle enfant d'aussi cruelles macérations; mais il faut savoir que chaque fois que des confesseurs voulurent s'y opposer, il en furent empêchés par une lumière intérieure.

Toute la personne de Rose, défigurée par la pénitence, attirait l'attention du public et la faisait vénérer comme une Sainte. Désolée, elle eut recours à Dieu, afin que ses jeûnes n'altérassent pas les traits de son visage. Chose admirable! Elle reprit son embonpoint et ses vives couleurs; ses yeux se ranimèrent. Aussi arriva-t-il qu'après avoir jeûné tout un Carême au pain et à l'eau, elle rencontra des jeunes gens qui se moquèrent d'elle en disant: "Voyez cette religieuse si célèbre par sa pénitence! Elle revient sans doute d'un festin. C'est édifiant, vraiment, en ce saint temps!" Rose en remercia Dieu.

La charité de Rose pour le salut des âmes était en proportion de son amour pour Jésus-Christ. Elle ressentait une poignante douleur en pensant aux âmes qui se perdent après avoir été si chèrement achetées. Elle pleurait sur le sort des Chinois, des Turcs, et des nombreuses sectes hérétiques qui désolaient l'Europe.

Rose mourut le 24 août 1617, à l'âge de trente et un ans.

J.-M. Planchet, Nouvelle Vie des Saints, p. 345

Source : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/sainte_rose_de_lima.html




LE XXX AOUT. SAINTE ROSE DE SAINTE-MARIE, VIERGE.

Quel parfum d'au delà de l'Océan nous apporte aujourd'hui la brise! L'ancien monde renouvelle sa jeunesse à ces senteurs du ciel; le nouveau se concilie par elles la terre et les cieux.

Cent ans ont passé depuis les jours où l'Europe étonnée apprit qu'un continent nouveau se révélait par delà les flots de la mer Ténébreuse, effroi des navigateurs. L'Espagne venait d'expulser le Croissant de ses propres terres; comme récompense, elle reçut la mission de planter la Croix sur ces plages immenses. Ni héros, ni apôtres, ne firent défaut dans cette œuvre au royaume Catholique; ni non plus, pour son malheur, les aventuriers dont la soif de l'or fit le fléau des Indiens qu'il s'agissait d'amener au vrai Dieu. La décadence si prompte de l'illustre nation qui avait triomphé du Maure, montrera bientôt jusqu'à quel point les peuples prévenus des plus hautes bénédictions restent pourtant solidaires des crimes commis, sous le couvert de leur nom, par quiconque porte le drapeau du pays. On sait comment finit au Pérou l'empire des Incas : malgré les protestations indignées des missionnaires , malgré les ordres venus de la mère patrie, quelques années suffirent aux compagnons de Pizarre pour exterminer le tiers des habitants de ces florissantes contrées; un autre tiers achevait de périr dans la misère d'une servitude pire que la mort immédiate; le reste fuyait vers les montagnes, emportant au fond des forêts la haine de l'envahisseur, et trop souvent, hélas ! de l'Evangile, responsable à ses yeux des atrocités accomplies par les baptisés. La cupidité des vainqueurs donnait entrée à tous les vices dans ces âmes en lesquelles cependant la foi restait vive : Lima, fondée au pied des Cordillères comme métropole des provinces conquises, semblait bâtie sur la triple concupiscence; avant la fin du siècle, Jonas nouveau d'une nouvelle Ninive, saint François Solano la menaçait du courroux de Dieu.

Mais déjà la miséricorde avait pris les devants ; la justice et la paix s'étaient rencontrées (1 Psalm. LXXXIV, 11.) dans l'âme d'une enfant prête à toutes les expiations, insatiable d'amour. Combien nous voudrions nous arrêter à contempler la vierge péruvienne dans son héroïsme qui s'ignora toujours, dans sa grâce si candide et si pure! Rose qui n'eut pour ceux qui l'approchaient que des suavités embaumées, et garda pour elle le secret des épines sans lesquelles ne vont point les roses ici-bas ! Eclose du sourire de Marie, elle ravit l'Enfant-Dieu qui la veut sur son cœur. Les fleurs la reconnaissent pour reine, et toute saison les voit répondre à son désir; à son invitation, les plantes s'agitent joyeuses, les arbres inclinent leurs rameaux, toute la nature tressaille, eux-mêmes les insectes organisent des chœurs, les oiseaux rivalisent avec elle d'harmonies pour célébrer leur auteur commun. Et elle chante, au souvenir des noms de son père et de sa mère, Gaspard des Fleurs et Marie d'Olive : « O mon Jésus, que vous êtes beau entre les olives et les fleurs ; et vous ne dédaignez pas votre Rose ! »

Cependant l'éternelle Sagesse se révélait dans les jeux de l'Enfant divin et de sa bien-aimée (1 Prov. VIII, 3o-31.). C'est Clément X qui, dans la bulle de canonisation, nous rappelle qu'un jour où elle était plus souffrante, le tout aimable fils de la Vierge bénie l'invita pour une partie mystérieuse où l'enjeu serait laissé au libre choix du vainqueur. Rose gagne, et réclame sa guérison, aussitôt accordée. Mais Jésus demande la revanche, et l'emportant au second tour, il rend son mal, accompagné du don de patience, à la perdante toute joyeuse ; car elle avait compris qu'elle gagnait plus à la seconde partie qu'à la première.

Réservons à l'Eglise de raconter, en la Légende, jusqu'où notre Sainte fut amenée par l'efficacité de ces divines leçons touchant la souffrance. Dans les tortures surhumaines de sa dernière maladie, elle répondait à qui l'exhortait au courage : « Ce que je demande à mon Epoux, c'est qu'il ne cesse point de me brûler des ardeurs les plus cuisantes, jusqu'à ce que je sois pour lui le fruit mûr qu'il daigne recevoir de cette terre à sa table des deux. » Et comme on s'étonnait alors de sa sécurité, de sa certitude d'aller directement au paradis, elle dit avec feu cette autre parole qui montre aussi tout un aspect de son âme : « Moi, j'ai un Epoux qui peut ce qu'il y a de plus grand, qui possède ce qu'il y a de plus rare; et je ne me vois pas n'espérant de lui que de petites choses. »

Confiance bien justifiée par l'infinie bonté, les assurances et les prévenances du Seigneur à l'égard de Rose. Elle n'avait que trente et un ans, lorsque, au milieu de la nuit qui ouvrait la fête de saint Barthélémy de l'année 1617, elle entendit le cri : Voici l'Epoux (1 Matth. XXV, 6.) ! Dans Lima, dans tout le Pérou, dans l'Amérique entière, des prodiges de conversion et de grâce signalèrent le trépas de l'humble vierge, inconnue jusque-là du grand nombre. « Il fut attesté juridiquement, dit le Pontife suprême (2 Bulle de canonisation.), que, depuis la découverte du Pérou, aucun missionnaire ne s'était rencontré qui eût produit pareil ébranlement d'universelle pénitence. » Cinq ans plus tard, était dédié ce monastère de Sainte-Catherine-de-Sienne qui devait continuer au milieu de Lima l'œuvre de sanctification, d'assainissement, de défense sociale, et qu'on appelait le monastère de Rose, parce qu'elle en était en effet devant Dieu la fondatrice et la mère. Ses prières en avaient obtenu l'érection qu'elle avait prédite pour après sa mort, désignant d'avance le plan, les religieuses futures, la première supérieure, qu'elle investit un jour prophétiquement de son esprit dans un embrassement plein de mystère.

Lisons le beau récit liturgique qui la concerne.

La première fleur de sainteté que l'Amérique méridionale ait donnée au monde, la vierge Rose naquit à Lima de parents chrétiens. Dès le berceau brillèrent en elle les marques de sa sainteté future. Un jour le visage de l'enfant apparut merveilleusement transfiguré comme une rose ; ce fut l'occasion du nom qu'on lui donna ensuite, et auquel depuis la Vierge Mère de Dieu ajouta le sien comme surnom, voulant qu'elle s'appelât désormais Rose de Sainte-Marie. Elle fit à cinq ans vœu de virginité perpétuelle. Plus grande, pour éviter d'être contrainte au mariage par ses parents, elle coupa en secret sa magnifique chevelure. Ses jeûnes dépassaient la limite humaine; elle passa sans pain des Carêmes entiers, ne vivant que de cinq pépins de citron par jour.

Ayant reçu l'habit du tiers Ordre de saint Dominique, elle redoubla ses austérités, usant d'un long et dur cilice garni de pointes acérées, portant jour et nuit sous son voile une couronne armée au dedans d'un grand nombre de clous aiguisés. Elle s'était proposé sainte Catherine de Sienne pour modèle et pour guide dans les sentiers de la pénitence. Une chaîne de fer ceignait ses reins à triple tour. Elle s'était fait un lit de troncs d'arbres noueux, dont elle avait rempli les vides de tessons. Une cellule étroite qu'elle se construisit à l'extrémité du jardin, pour y vaquer à la contemplation des choses du ciel, la vit mater son faible corps par des disciplines fréquentes, par la faim et les veilles ; mais son esprit y puisait la vigueur, et, victorieuse des démons en de nombreux combats, elle se riait de leurs efforts et réduisait à néant leurs illusions.

En butte à des maladies cruelles, aux mauvaises langues, aux affronts des siens, elle se plaignait de n'être point encore traitée selon son mérite. Livrée pendant quinze ans plusieurs heures par jour à une effroyable désolation spirituelle, desséchée, consumée par l'épreuve, elle supporta courageusement ces agonies plus amères que toute mort. Mais c'étaient à la suite les délices d'en haut, les visions, les séraphiques ardeurs. Son ange gardien, sainte Catherine de Sienne, la Vierge Mère de Dieu lui apparaissaient dans une admirable familiarité. Elle méritait d'entendre ces mots du Christ Jésus : Rose de mon cœur, sois mon épouse. Enfin arriva le jour fortuné où s'ouvrit pour elle le paradis de cet Epoux. Nombreux furent ses miracles après comme avant son trépas ; et le Souverain Pontife Clément X l'inscrivit solennellement au catalogue des saintes Vierges.

Patronne de votre patrie de ce monde, veillez sur elle toujours. Justifiez sa confiance, dans l’ordre même de la vie présente, en la défendant des tremblements de terre dont les secousses promènent l'effroi sur ses rivages, des commotions politiques dont sa récente indépendance s'est vue si cruellement éprouvée. Etendez votre action tutélaire aux jeunes républiques qui l'avoisinent, et qui elles aussi vous honorent; ainsi que votre terre natale, protégez-les contre le mirage des utopies venues de notre vieux monde, contre les entraînements, les illusions de leur propre jeunesse, contre les sectes condamnées qui finiraient par ébranler jusqu'à leur foi toujours vive. Enfin, Rose aimée du Seigneur, souriez à l'Eglise entière que ravissent aujourd'hui vos charmes célestes. Comme elle, nous voulons tous courir à l'odeur de vos parfums (1 Collecte de la fête, ex Cant. I, 3.).

Apprenez-nous à nous laisser prévenir comme vous par la céleste rosée. Montrez-nous à répondre aux avances du sculpteur divin qui vous apparut un jour, remettant aux soins de ceux qu'il aime les marbres de choix des vertus, pour les polir et les tailler en s'aidant de leurs larmes et du ciseau de la pénitence. Plus que tout le reste, enseignez-nous la confiance et l'amour. Tout ce qu'opère, disiez-vous, le soleil dans l'immensité de l'univers, faisant éclore les fleurs et mûrissant les fruits, créant les perles au sein des océans, les pierres précieuses dans les plis des montagnes : l'Epoux l'accomplissait dans les espaces sans fin de votre âme, y produisant toute richesse, toute beauté, toute joie, toute chaleur et toute vie. Puissions-nous, ainsi que vous-même, profiter de la descente du Soleil de justice eh nos poitrines au Sacrement d'union, ne vivre plus que de sa lumière bénie, porter la bonne odeur du Christ en tous lieux (1 : Collecte de la fête, ex II Cor. II, 15.).

Les saints Martyrs Félix et Adauctus conquirent la palme au temps de Dioclétien. Ils méritèrent que le saint Pape Damase honorât d'une de ses glorieuses épitaphes leur sépulture, voisine du tombeau de l'Apôtre des nations. Adressons à Dieu la prière où l'Eglise implore aujourd'hui leur protection puissante.

ORAISON.

Daigne votre Majesté, Seigneur, exaucer nos supplications ; le souvenir de vos Saints nous est une allégresse toujours renouvelée : que toujours aussi leur intercession soit notre défense. Par Jésus-Christ.

SOURCE : http://www.abbaye-saint-benoit.ch/gueranger/anneliturgique/pentecote/pentecote05/008.htm


Au deuxième nocturne.

Quatrième leçon. La première fleur de sainteté de l’Amérique méridionale fut la vierge Rose, née à Lima, de parents chrétiens. Dès son berceau, on vit en elle des marques éclatantes de sa sainteté future, car son visage d’enfant parut un jour transfiguré et comme ayant l’aspect d’une rose, ce qui fut l’occasion de lui imposer ce nom. Dans la suite, la Vierge, Mère de Dieu, y ajouta un surnom, ordonnant de l’appeler Rose de sainte Marie. A l’âge de cinq ans, elle émit le vœu de virginité perpétuelle. Dans son adolescence, craignant que ses parents ne la contraignissent à se marier, elle coupa secrètement sa superbe chevelure. Adonnée à des jeûnes qui semblent au-dessus des forces de la nature humaine, elle passait des carêmes entiers sans manger de pain, n’ayant chaque jour pour nourriture que cinq pépins de citron.

Cinquième leçon. Quand elle eut pris l’habit du tiers ordre de saint Dominique, elle redoubla ses austérités, fixa dans un long et très dur cilice de petites aiguilles, et se mit à porter jour et nuit, sous son voile une couronne armée de pointes aiguës. A l’exemple de sainte Catherine de Sienne elle ceignit ses reins d’une chaîne de fer, qui l’entourait d’un triple nœud. Son lit se composait de troncs noueux dont les interstices étaient remplis de têts de pots cassés. Elle se fit construire une étroite cellule dans un coin retiré du jardin ; et là, livrée à la contemplation des choses du ciel, elle exténuait son faible corps par de fréquentes disciplines, des privations de nourriture et des veilles ; mais soutenue par l’esprit, elle sortit victorieusement de nombreuses luttes avec les démons qu’elle méprisait sans crainte et dominait.

Sixième leçon. Cruellement éprouvée par les souffrances de diverses maladies, les insultes de personnes de sa maison, et la calomnie, elle s’affligeait de ne pas souffrir autant qu’elle le méritait. En proie presque continuellement durant quinze années aux peines consumantes de la désolation et de l’aridité spirituelle, elle supporta avec force d’âme ces combats plus remplis d’amertume que toute mort. Après quoi elle commença à connaître l’abondance des joies célestes, à être éclairée par des visions, et à sentir son cœur se fondre sous l’action de séraphiques ardeurs. Favorisée de fréquentes apparitions de son Ange gardien, de sainte Catherine de Sienne et de la Mère de Dieu, elle usait avec eux d’une admirable simplicité, et mérita d’entendre de la bouche du Christ ces paroles : « Rose de mon cœur, sois une épouse pour moi. » Introduite heureusement enfin dans le paradis de cet Époux divin, Rose devint illustre après sa mort comme auparavant par de nombreux miracles, et le souverain Pontife Clément X l’inscrivit solennellement au catalogue des saintes Vierges.

Au troisième nocturne. Du Commun.

Lecture du saint Évangile selon saint Matthieu. Cap. 25, 1-13.

En ce temps-là : Jésus dit à ses disciples cette parabole : Le royaume des cieux sera semblable à dix vierges qui ; ayant pris leurs lampes, altèrent au-devant de l’époux et de l’épouse. Et le reste.

Homélie de saint Grégoire, Pape. Homilia 12 in Evang.

Septième leçon. Je vous recommande souvent, mes très chers frères, de fuir le mal et de vous préserver de la corruption du monde ; mais aujourd’hui la lecture du saint Évangile m’oblige à vous dire de veiller avec beaucoup de soin à ne pas perdre le mérite de vos bonnes actions. Prenez garde que vous ne recherchiez dans le bien que vous faites, la faveur ou l’estime des hommes, qu’il ne s’y glisse un désir d’être loué, et que ce qui paraît au dehors ne recouvre un fond vide de mérite et peu digne de récompense. Voici que notre Rédempteur nous parle de dix vierges, il les nomme toutes vierges et cependant toutes ne méritèrent pas d’être admises au séjour de la béatitude, car tandis qu’elles espéraient recueillir de leur virginité une gloire extérieure, elles négligèrent de mettre de l’huile dans leurs vases.

Huitième leçon. Il nous faut d’abord examiner ce qu’est le royaume des cieux, ou pourquoi il est comparé à dix vierges, et encore quelles sont les vierges prudentes et les vierges folles. Puisqu’il est certain qu’aucun réprouvé n’entrera dans le royaume des cieux, pourquoi nous dit-on qu’il est semblable à des vierges parmi lesquelles il y en a de folles ? Mais nous devons savoir que l’Église du temps présent est souvent désignée dans le langage sacré sous le nom de royaume des cieux ; d’où vient que le Seigneur dit en un autre endroit : « Le Fils de l’homme enverra ses anges, et ils enlèveront de son royaume tous les scandales » [1]. Certes, ils ne pourraient trouver aucun scandale à enlever, dans ce royaume de la béatitude, où se trouve la plénitude de la paix.

Neuvième leçon. L’âme humaine subsiste dans un corps doué de cinq sens. Le nombre cinq, multiplié par deux, donne celui de dix. Et parce que la multitude des fidèles comprend l’un et l’autre sexe, la sainte Église est comparée à dix vierges. Comme, dans cette Église, les méchants se trouvent mêlés avec les bons et ceux qui seront réprouvés avec les élus, ce n’est pas sans raison qu’on la dit semblable à des vierges, dont les unes sont sages et les autres insensées. Il y a en effet, beaucoup de personnes chastes qui veillent sur leurs passions quant aux choses extérieures et sont portées par l’espérance vers les biens intérieurs ; elles mortifient leur chair et aspirent de toute l’ardeur de leur désir vers la patrie d’en haut ; elles recherchent les récompenses éternelles, et ne veulent pas recevoir pour leurs travaux de louanges humaines : celles-ci ne mettent assurément pas leur gloire dans les paroles des hommes, mais la cachent au fond de leur conscience. Et il en est aussi plusieurs qui affligent leur corps par l’abstinence, mais attendent de cette abstinence même des applaudissements humains.

[1] Matth. 13, 41.



Dom Guéranger, l’Année Liturgique

Quel parfum d’au delà de l’Océan nous apporte aujourd’hui la brise ! L’ancien monde renouvelle sa jeunesse à ces senteurs du ciel ; le nouveau se concilie par elles la terre et les cieux.

Cent ans ont passé depuis les jours où l’Europe étonnée apprit qu’un continent nouveau se révélait par delà les flots de la mer Ténébreuse, effroi des navigateurs. L’Espagne venait d’expulser le Croissant de ses propres terres ; comme récompense, elle reçut la mission de planter la Croix sur ces plages immenses. Ni héros, ni apôtres, ne firent défaut dans cette œuvre au royaume Catholique ; ni non plus, pour son malheur, les aventuriers dont la soif de l’or fit le fléau des Indiens qu’il s’agissait d’amener au vrai Dieu. La décadence si prompte de l’illustre nation qui avait triomphé du Maure, montrera bientôt jusqu’à quel point les peuples prévenus des plus hautes bénédictions restent pourtant solidaires des crimes commis, sous le couvert de leur nom, par quiconque porte le drapeau du pays. On sait comment finit au Pérou l’empire des Incas : malgré les protestations indignées des missionnaires, malgré les ordres venus de la mère patrie, quelques années suffirent aux compagnons de Pizarre pour exterminer le tiers des habitants de ces florissantes contrées ; un autre tiers achevait de périr dans la misère d’une servitude pire que la mort immédiate ; le reste fuyait vers les montagnes, emportant au fond des forêts la haine de l’envahisseur, et trop souvent, hélas ! de l’Évangile, responsable à ses yeux des atrocités accomplies par les baptisés. La cupidité des vainqueurs donnait entrée à tous les vices dans ces âmes en lesquelles cependant la foi restait vive : Lima, fondée au pied des Cordillères comme métropole des provinces conquises, semblait bâtie sur la triple concupiscence ; avant la fin du siècle, Jonas nouveau d’une nouvelle Ninive, saint François Solano la menaçait du courroux de Dieu.

Mais déjà la miséricorde avait pris les devants ; la justice et la paix s’étaient rencontrées [2] dans l’âme d’une enfant prête à toutes les expiations, insatiable d’amour. Combien nous voudrions nous arrêter à contempler la vierge péruvienne dans son héroïsme qui s’ignora toujours, dans sa grâce si candide et si pure ! Rose qui n’eut pour ceux qui l’approchaient que des suavités embaumées, et garda pour elle le secret des épines sans lesquelles ne vont point les roses ici-bas ! Éclose du sourire de Marie, elle ravit l’Enfant-Dieu qui la veut sur son cœur. Les fleurs la reconnaissent pour reine, et toute saison les voit répondre à son désir ; à son invitation, les plantes s’agitent joyeuses, les arbres inclinent leurs rameaux, toute la nature tressaille, eux-mêmes les insectes organisent des chœurs, les oiseaux rivalisent avec elle d’harmonies pour célébrer leur auteur commun. Et elle chante, au souvenir des noms de son père et de sa mère, Gaspard des Fleurs et Marie d’Olive : « O mon Jésus, que vous êtes beau entre les olives et les fleurs ; et vous ne dédaignez pas votre Rose ! »

Cependant l’éternelle Sagesse se révélait dans les jeux de l’Enfant divin et de sa bien-aimée [3]. C’est Clément X qui, dans la bulle de canonisation, nous rappelle qu’un jour où elle était plus souffrante, le tout aimable fils de la Vierge bénie l’invita pour une partie mystérieuse où l’enjeu serait laissé au libre choix du vainqueur. Rose gagne, et réclame sa guérison, aussitôt accordée. Mais Jésus demande la revanche, et l’emportant au second tour, il rend son mal, accompagné du don de patience, à la perdante toute joyeuse ; car elle avait compris qu’elle gagnait plus à la seconde partie qu’à la première.

Réservons à l’Église de raconter, en la Légende, jusqu’où notre Sainte fut amenée par l’efficacité de ces divines leçons touchant la souffrance. Dans les tortures surhumaines de sa dernière maladie, elle répondait à qui l’exhortait au courage : « Ce que je demande à mon Époux, c’est qu’il ne cesse point de me brûler des ardeurs les plus cuisantes, jusqu’à ce que je sois pour lui le fruit mûr qu’il daigne recevoir de cette terre à sa table des deux ». Et comme on s’étonnait alors de sa sécurité, de sa certitude d’aller directement au paradis, elle dit avec feu cette autre parole qui montre aussi tout un aspect de son âme : « Moi, j’ai un Époux qui peut ce qu’il y a de plus grand, qui possède ce qu’il y a de plus rare ; et je ne me vois pas n’espérant de lui que de petites choses ».

Confiance bien justifiée par l’infinie bonté, les assurances et les prévenances du Seigneur à l’égard de Rose. Elle n’avait que trente et un ans, lorsque, au milieu de la nuit qui ouvrait la fête de saint Barthélémy de l’année 1617, elle entendit le cri : Voici l’Époux [4] ! Dans Lima, dans tout le Pérou, dans l’Amérique entière, des prodiges de conversion et de grâce signalèrent le trépas de l’humble vierge, inconnue jusque-là du grand nombre. « Il fut attesté juridiquement, dit le Pontife suprême [5], que, depuis la découverte du Pérou, aucun missionnaire ne s’était rencontré qui eût produit pareil ébranlement d’universelle pénitence ». Cinq ans plus tard, était dédié ce monastère de Sainte-Catherine-de-Sienne qui devait continuer au milieu de Lima l’œuvre de sanctification, d’assainissement, de défense sociale, et qu’on appelait le monastère de Rose, parce qu’elle en était en effet devant Dieu la fondatrice et la mère. Ses prières en avaient obtenu l’érection qu’elle avait prédite pour après sa mort, désignant d’avance le plan, les religieuses futures, la première supérieure, qu’elle investit un jour prophétiquement de son esprit dans un embrassement plein de mystère.

Patronne de votre patrie de ce monde, veillez sur elle toujours. Justifiez sa confiance, dans l’ordre même de la vie présente, en la défendant des tremblements de terre dont les secousses promènent l’effroi sur ses rivages, des commotions politiques dont sa récente indépendance s’est vue si cruellement éprouvée. Étendez votre action tutélaire aux jeunes républiques qui l’avoisinent, et qui elles aussi vous honorent ; ainsi que votre terre natale, protégez-les contre le mirage des utopies venues de notre vieux monde, contre les entraînements, les illusions de leur propre jeunesse, contre les sectes condamnées qui finiraient par ébranler jusqu’à leur foi toujours vive. Enfin, Rose aimée du Seigneur, souriez à l’Église entière que ravissent aujourd’hui vos charmes célestes. Comme elle, nous voulons tous courir à l’odeur de vos parfums [6].

Apprenez-nous à nous laisser prévenir comme vous par la céleste rosée. Montrez-nous à répondre aux avances du sculpteur divin qui vous apparut un jour, remettant aux soins de ceux qu’il aime les marbres de choix des vertus, pour les polir et les tailler en s’aidant de leurs larmes et du ciseau de la pénitence. Plus que tout le reste, enseignez-nous la confiance et l’amour. Tout ce qu’opère, disiez-vous, le soleil dans l’immensité de l’univers, faisant éclore les fleurs et mûrissant les fruits, créant les perles au sein des océans, les pierres précieuses dans les plis des montagnes : l’Époux l’accomplissait dans les espaces sans fin de votre âme, y produisant toute richesse, toute beauté, toute joie, toute chaleur et toute vie. Puissions-nous, ainsi que vous-même, profiter de la descente du Soleil de justice eh nos poitrines au Sacrement d’union, ne vivre plus que de sa lumière bénie, porter la bonne odeur du Christ en tous lieux [7].

[2] Psalm. LXXXIV, 11.

[3] Prov. VIII, 30-31.

[4] Matth. XXV, 6.

[5] Bulle de canonisation.

[6] Collecte de la fête, ex Cant. I, 3.

[7] Collecte de la fête, ex II Cor. II, 15.



Bhx cardinal Schuster, Liber Sacramentorum

Cette fleur délicate de l’Église du Pérou a joui du rare privilège d’avoir pour rédacteur de son office le pieux et docte liturgiste que fut le cardinal Bona. La fête de sainte Rose fut élevée par Benoît XIII au rite double, en sorte qu’elle a pratiquement supprimé celle des deux martyrs du cimetière de Commodille.

Comme sainte Catherine de Sienne, Rose était inscrite au Tiers Ordre de saint Dominique ; dans la basilique de Sainte-Marie-sur-Minerve à Rome, près de la tombe de la Vierge de Sienne, on vénère le crucifix devant lequel Rose avait coutume de faire oraison.

Avant d’admettre la pieuse vierge péruvienne à ses noces mystiques, Dieu se plut à la faire passer par l’épreuve du feu. Il la purifia par de dures pénitences corporelles, et au moyen aussi de ces peines mystiques que souffre l’âme qui n’est pas encore accoutumée au contact de la divinité, laquelle, au dire de l’apôtre, est toujours ignis consumens.

La messe est du commun des Vierges, mais la première collecte est propre. Prière. — « O Dieu, de qui nous vient tout bien ; vous qui prévîntes des douceurs de votre grâce la bienheureuse Rose, et la fîtes épanouir en Amérique comme une fleur de virginale pureté et de patience ; faites que nous, vos serviteurs, attirés par le parfum de ses vertus, nous répandions également autour de nous le parfum céleste du Christ ».

Quel beau programme de vie spirituelle ! Chacun de nous doit exprimer Jésus-Christ dans sa vie, dans ses pensées, dans ses paroles, enlevant à la piété chrétienne tout ce que peut parfois lui conférer d’âpre ou d’anguleux notre immortification, afin que la dévotion apparaisse aux autres douce et aimable, comme celle du divin Maître lui-même.



Dom Pius Parsch, Le guide dans l’année liturgique

Rose de mon cœur, tu dois être mon épouse !

1. Sainte Rose. — Jour de mort : 24 août 1617, Tombeau : dans l’église du couvent des dominicains à Lima (Pérou). Culte très populaire. Vie : Sainte Rose de Lima, tertiaire de Saint-Dominique, « la première fleur de sainteté qu’ait produite l’Amérique méridionale », est célèbre par sa grande vertu et l’austérité de sa vie. Elle expia par ses pénitences la cupidité des conquérants de sa patrie, et l’exemple de sa vie fut pour beaucoup un salutaire enseignement. Le pape Clément X déclare dans la bulle de canonisation de sainte Rose « que, depuis la découverte du Pérou, aucun missionnaire n’a jamais suscité un aussi grand mouvement de conversion ». Dès l’âge de cinq ans, elle voua sa virginité à Dieu. Dans son adolescence, elle se livra à des mortifications et à des jeûnes au-dessus des forces humaines. Elle passait tout le carême sans manger de pain, ne vivant que de cinq pépins de citron par jour. De plus elle eut à subir de multiples assauts du démon, de cruelles souffrances et maladies, des insultes et des calomnies qui lui venaient des siens. Volontiers elle acceptait tout, se plaignant même de n’être pas aussi affligée qu’elle le méritait. Pendant quinze années, elle fut en proie à la plus extrême désolation et aridité spirituelle. Dieu l’en récompensa en la comblant ensuite d’une joie toute céleste, et en la favorisant de fréquentes apparitions de son ange gardien et de la Très Sainte Vierge. Le 24 aout 1617, le jour arriva enfin « où elle fit son entrée heureuse dans le Paradis de son divin Époux ». L’office de sainte Rose de Lima est l’œuvre du pieux liturgiste qu’était le cardinal Bona.

2. La messe (Dilexisti) est du commun des Vierges. — Aujourd’hui encore nous pouvons constater le triple but de la liturgie des saints :

a) elle voit dans la sainte, présente parmi nous, un membre d’élite de la grande famille de Dieu.

b) Elle voit en elle une image et un symbole de l’Église. Retenons bien cette pensée : l’Église se représente elle-même dans la personne des saints, et particulièrement de ses saintes.

c) Enfin, elle voit en eux l’âme de chacun de nous.

Tout ceci est d’une évidence remarquable à la messe de ce jour :

a) Sous les traits de l’épouse, nous reconnaissons sainte Rose de Lima ; nous la voyons entrer au ciel dans son cortège nuptial (Introït et Off.) ; nous voyons le Christ s’avancer vers elle (Grad.). Elle fut vraiment la vierge sage qui attendait l’époux, la lampe allumée à la main.

b) C’est cette autre épouse, l’Église, que nous considérons aussi en sainte Rose, l’Église qui célèbre à l’avance le triomphe suprême de chacun de ses membres. Admirons la justesse de cette comparaison entre les vierges sages et l’Église qui, dans la nuit de la vie terrestre, entretient la lampe avec l’huile de sa charité et de sa prière, et dont l’unique préoccupation est d’attendre l’arrivée de l’Époux. Et chaque messe est une anticipation dé sa venue ; à chaque messe l’Église se rapproche du jour des noces. La messe est une anticipation du retour du Seigneur. Combien cette pensée est manifeste aujourd’hui particulièrement au moment de la communion !

c) Toute âme est une cellule de l’Église ; les pensées et les sentiments de notre mère l’Église trouvent un écho en Chacune. Aujourd’hui, c’est avec des sentiments d’épouse que je me rends à l’église, que je pénètre dans la grande salle du ciel. A l’offertoire, c’est moi qui suis l’épouse en parure royale près de l’Époux ; et la sainte communion est pour moi la table du festin et les fiançailles éternelles.

SOURCE : http://www.introibo.fr/30-08-Ste-Rose-de-Lima-vierge



Saint Rose of Lima
St. Rose of Lima has a special claim on our interest for she has the honor of being the first person born in the Western Hemisphere to be canonized by the Church. The child who became St. Rose of Lima was born on April 20 1586, of a Spaniard, Gaspar de Flores, and Maria d’Olivia, a woman who had Inca blood in her veins. The infant, one of ten children born to the couple, was baptized Isabel, after an aunt, Isabel de Herrara, who acted as godmother. This ceremony took place at home, for the baby was extremely weak. Several weeks later the tiny infant was carried to the nearby church of San Sebastian for baptism by the priest, Don Antonio Polanco.

By the time she was confirmed by Archbishop Toribio of Lima, the name Isabel had been replaced by Rose, and this was the name now bestowed on her. Rose had a fresh, lovely complexion, and she was worried by the thought that this name had been given as a tribute to her beauty. So sensitive was her conscience that she had genuine scruples over bearing the name, and on one occasion, after hearing someone praise her comeliness, she rubbed pepper into her face to mar it; another time, she put lime on her hands, inducing acute suffering. This was her way-a way conditioned by the time and place-of fighting a temptation to vanity. Such self-imposed cruelties, as we have seen in the lives of some of the other saints, have not been uncommon, particularly among those of a mystical bent.

Rose seems to have taken for her model St. Catherine of Siena, and, like the earlier saint, she experienced so ardent a love of God whenever she was in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament that exaltation completely filled her soul. Yet Rose was not without a practical side. Her father had been well-to-do, but when he lost money in mining ventures, the family’s fortunes reached a very low ebb. Rose helped out by selling her fine needlework; she also raised beautiful flowers and these too were taken to market. One of her brothers, Ferdinand, was sympathetic and understanding toward this sister who was so markedly “different.” As she grew to maturity, her parents were anxious to have Rose marry, and indeed there were several worthy aspirants for her hand. Rose did not wish marriage, and, to end the arguments and offers, she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, donned the habit, and took a vow of perpetual virginity.

For many years Rose lived virtually as a recluse. There was a little hut in the family garden, and this she used as an oratory. She often wore on her head a circlet of silver studded on the inside with sharp points, in memory of the Lord’s crown of thorns. Other forms of penitence which she inflicted on her body were floggings, administered three times daily, the wearing of a hair shirt, and the dragging of a heavy, wooden cross about the garden. She rubbed her lips with gall and often chewed bitter herbs to deaden the sense of taste. Both eating and sleeping were reduced to a minimum. Naturally her health was affected, but the physical disorders which resulted from this regime-stomach ailments, asthma, rheumatism, and fevers-were suffered uncomplainingly. This manner of life offended her family, who preferred their daughter to follow the more conventional and accepted ways of holiness. Finally, when Rose began to tell of visions, revelations, visitations, and voices they deplored her penitential practices more than ever. She endured their disapproval and grew in spiritual fortitude.

In spite of the rigors of her ascetic life, Rose was not wholly detached from happenings around her, and her awareness of the suffering of others often led her to protest against some of the practices of the Spanish overlords. In the new world, the discovery of unbelievable mineral resources was doing little to enrich or ennoble the lives of the Peruvian natives. The gold and silver from this land of El Dorado was being shipped back to strengthen the empire and embellish the palaces and cathedrals of Old Spain, but at its source there was vice, exploitation, and corruption. The natives were oppressed and impoverished, in spite of the missionaries’ efforts to alleviate their miseries and to exercise a restraining hand on the governing class. Rose was cognizant of the evils, and spoke out against them fearlessly. Sometimes she brought sick and hungry persons into her own home that she might better care for them.

For fifteen years Rose bore the disapproval and persecution of those close to her, as well as the more severe trial of desolation of soul. At length an examination by priests and physicians was indicated, and this resulted in the judgment that her experiences were indeed supernatural. Rose’s last years were passed in the home of a government official, Don Gonzalo de Massa. During an illness towards the end of her life, she was able to pray, “Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Thy love in my heart.” This remarkable woman died on August 25, 1617, at the age of thirty-one.

Not until after her death was it known how widely her beneficent influence had extended, and how deeply venerated she was by the common people of Lima. When her body was borne down the street to the cathedral, a great cry of mourning arose from the crowd. For several days it was impossible to perform the ritual of burial on account of the great press of sorrowing citizens around her bier. She was finally laid to rest in the Dominican convent at Lima. Later, when miracles and cures were being attributed to her intervention, the body was transferred to the church of San Domingo. There it reposes today in a special chapel. Rose of Lima was declared patroness of South America and the Philippines; she was canonized by Pope Clement in 1671, August 30 being appointed her feast-day. This holy woman is highly honored in all Spanish-American countries. The emblems associated with her are an anchor, a crown of roses, and a city.


SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/rose-of-lima/


Statue de Sainte  Rose de Lima, Catedral de la Asunción de María Santísima
Guadalajara, Jalisco
St. Rose of Lima
Virgin, patroness of America, born at Lima, Peru 20 April, 1586; died there 30 August, 1617.

At her confirmation in 1597, she took the name of Rose, because, when an infant, her face had been seen transformed by a mystical rose. As a child she was remarkable for a great reverence, and pronounced love, for all things relating to God. This so took possession of her that thenceforth her life was given up to prayer and mortification. She had an intense devotion to the Infant Jesus and His Blessed Mother, before whose altar she spent hours. She was scrupulously obedient and of untiring industry, making rapid progress by earnest attention to her parents' instruction, to her studies, and to her domestic work, especially with her needle.

After reading of St. Catherine she determined to take that saint as her model. She began by fasting three times a week, adding secret severe penances, and when her vanity was assailed, cutting off her beautiful hair, wearing coarse clothing, and roughening her hands with toil. All this time she had to struggle against the objections of her friends, the ridicule of her family, and the censure of her parents. Many hours were spent before the Blessed Sacrament, which she received daily.

Finally she determined to take a vow of virginity, and inspired by supernatural love, adopted extraordinary means to fulfill it. At the outset she had to combat the opposition of her parents, who wished her to marry. For ten years the struggle continued before she won, by patience and prayer, their consent to continue her mission.

At the same time great temptations assailed her purity, faith, and constance, causing her excruciating agony of mind and desolation of spirit, urging her to more frequent mortifications; but daily, also, Our Lord manifested Himself, fortifying her with the knowledge of His presence and consoling her mind with evidence of His Divine love. Fasting daily was soon followed by perpetual abstinence from meat, and that, in turn, by use of only the coarsest food and just sufficient to support life.

Her days were filled with acts of charity and industry, her exquisite lace and embroidery helping to support her home, while her nights were devoted to prayer and penance. When her work permitted, she retired to a little grotto which she had built, with her brother's aid, in their small garden, and there passed her nights in solitude and prayer. Overcoming the opposition of her parents, and with the consent of her confessor, she was allowed later to become practically a recluse in this cell, save for her visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

In her twentieth year she received the habit of St. Dominic. Thereafter she redoubled the severity and variety of her penances to a heroic degree, wearing constantly a metal spiked crown, concealed by roses, and an iron chain about her waist. Days passed without food, save a draught of gall mixed with bitter herbs. When she could no longer stand, she sought repose on a bed constructed by herself, of broken glass, stone, potsherds, and thorns. She admitted that the thought of lying down on it made her tremble with dread. Fourteen years this martyrdom of her body continued without relaxation, but not without consolation. Our Lord revealed Himself to her frequently, flooding her soul with such inexpressible peace and joy as to leave her in ecstasy for hours. At these times she offered to Him all her mortifications and penances in expiation for offences against His Divine Majesty, for the idolatry of her country, for the conversion of sinners, and for the souls in Purgatory.

Many miracles followed her death. She was beatified by Clement IX, in 1667, and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, the first American to be so honoured. Her feast is celebrated 30 August. She is represented wearing a crown of roses.

Sources


Hansen, Vita Mirabilis (1664), Spanish tr. by PARRA.


Aymé, Edward. "St. Rose of Lima." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 26 Apr. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13192c.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Michael T. Barrett. Dedicated to JoAnn Smull.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, D.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13192c.htm



Saint Rose of Lima, V.O.P.

Feast  Day: August 30th

Profile

    At her confirmation in 1597, she took the name of Rose, because, when an infant, her face had been seen transformed by a mystical rose. As a child she was remarkable for a great reverence, and pronounced love, for all things relating to God. This so took possession of her that thenceforth her life was given up to prayer and mortification. She had an intense devotion to the Infant Jesus and His Blessed Mother, before whose altar she spent hours. She was scrupulously obedient and of untiring industry, making rapid progress by earnest attention to her parents' instruction, to her studies, and to her domestic work, especially with her needle.

    After reading of St. Catherine she determined to take that saint as her model. She began by fasting three times a week, adding secret severe penances, and when her vanity was assailed, cutting off her beautiful hair, wearing coarse clothing, and roughening her hands with toil. All this time she had to struggle against the objections of her friends, the ridicule of her family, and the censure of her parents. Many hours were spent before the Blessed Sacrament, which she received daily.

    Finally she determined to take a vow of virginity, and inspired by supernatural love, adopted extraordinary means to fulfill it. At the outset she had to combat the opposition of her parents, who wished her to marry. For ten years the struggle continued before she won, by patience and prayer, their consent to continue her mission.

    At the same time great temptations assailed her purity, faith, and constance, causing her excruciating agony of mind and desolation of spirit, urging her to more frequent mortifications; but daily, also, Our Lord manifested Himself, fortifying her with the knowledge of His presence and consoling her mind with evidence of His Divine love. Fasting daily was soon followed by perpetual abstinence from meat, and that, in turn, by use of only the coarsest food and just sufficient to support life.

    Her days were filled with acts of charity and industry, her exquisite lace and embroidery helping to support her home, while her nights were devoted to prayer and penance. When her work permitted, she retired to a little grotto which she had built, with her brother's aid, in their small garden, and there passed her nights in solitude and prayer. Overcoming the opposition of her parents, and with the consent of her confessor, she was allowed later to become practically a recluse in this cell, save for her visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

    In her twentieth year she received the habit of St. Dominic. Thereafter she redoubled the severity and variety of her penances to a heroic degree, wearing constantly a metal spiked crown, concealed by roses, and an iron chain about her waist. Days passed without food, save a draught of gall mixed with bitter herbs. When she could no longer stand, she sought repose on a bed constructed by herself, of broken glass, stone, potsherds, and thorns. She admitted that the thought of lying down on it made her tremble with dread. Fourteen years this martyrdom of her body continued without relaxation, but not without consolation. Our Lord revealed Himself to her frequently, flooding her soul with such inexpressible peace and joy as to leave her in ecstasy four hours. At these times she offered to Him all her mortifications and penances in expiation for offences against His Divine Majesty, for the idolatry of her country, for the conversion of sinners, and for the souls in Purgatory.

    Many miracles followed her death. She was beatified by Clement IX, in 1667, and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, the first American to be so honored. Her feast is celebrated 30 August. She is represented wearing a crown of roses.

Born:1586 at Lima, Peru as Isabel

Died: August 24, 1617 at Lima, Peru

Beatified: April 15, 1668 by Pope Clement IX

Canonized: April 2, 1671 by Pope Clement X

Representation: anchor; crown of flowers; crown of roses; Holy Infant; roses; Dominican tertiary holding roses; Dominican tertiary accompanied by the Holy Infant

Patronage: against vanity; Americas; Central America; embroiderers; florists; gardeners; India; Latin America; Lima, Peru; needle workers; New World; people ridiculed for their piety; Peru; Philippines; diocese of Santa Rosa, California; South America; vanity; Villareal Samar, Phillipines; West Indies
           
Prayers/Commemoration


First Vespers:

Ant. Blessed art thou of thy God, O Rose, in every tabernacle of Jacob: because in every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on account of thee.

V. Pray for us, Blessed Rose.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Lauds:

Ant. O sweet-scented Rose, diffusing everywhere the odor of virtue, make us sharers of the light and sweetness which thou enjoyest.

V. Virgins shall be led to the King after her.

R. Her companions shall be presented to Thee.

Second Vespers:

Ant. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the honor of our people. O Rose thou hast done valiantly, and thy heart hath been strengthened.

V. Pray for us, Blessed Rose.

R. That we may be made worthy of the Promises of Christ.

Prayer

Let us Pray: Almighty God, the giver of all good thing, who wast pleased that Blessed Rose, early watered by the dew of Thy grace, should blossom in the Indies with the beauty of virginity and patience, grant unto us, Thy servants, that running after the fragrance of her sweetness, we may be found worthy to become the good odor of Christ. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.

Readings

Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart.

Saint Rose of Lima

Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.

Saint Rose of Lima

Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: "Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven."

When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemd to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex and status: "Hear, O people; hear, O nations. I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that came from his own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions. We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep aprticipation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul."

"If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men."

from the writings of Saint Rose of Lima

SOURCE : http://www.willingshepherds.org/Dominican%20Saints%20May.html#Rose of Lima





Thibaud Maistrier, Sainte Rose de Lima,  vers 1650, 

Bois peint, Église Saint-Exupère de Toulouse.


Rose of Lima (Memorial)

August 23

Born 1586 at Lima, Peru as Isabel, to Spanish immigrants to the New World. A beautiful girl and devoted daughter, she was so devoted to her vow of chastity, she used pepper and lye to ruin her complexion so she would not be attractive. Lived and meditated in a garden, raising vegetables and making embroidered items to sell to support her family and help the other poor. Dominican tertiary in 1606. Mystic. Visonary. Received invisible stigmata. Suffered from assorted physical and mental ailments. First saint born in the Americas. Founder of social work in Peru. Great devotion to Saint Catherine of Siena. Died August 24, 1617, at Lima, Peru. Beatified April 15, 1668 by Pope Clement IX, Canonized April 2, 1671 by Pope Clement X.


SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0823.shtml

Saint Rose of Lima

Profile

Born to Spanish immigrants to the New World. A beautiful girl and devoted daughter, she was so devoted to her vow of chastity that she used pepper and lye to ruin her complexion so she would not be attractive. Lived and meditated in a garden, raising vegetables and making embroidered items to sell to support her family and help the other poor. Dominican tertiary in 1606. Mystic. Visonary. Received invisible stigmata. Suffered from assorted physical and mental ailments. First saint born in the Americas. Founder of social work in Peru. Great devotion to Saint Catherine of Siena.

Born
Name Meaning



Angelino Medoro. Retrato póstumo de Santa Rosa
Fue pintado pocas horas después del fallecimiento de la santa limeña, el 24 de agosto de 1617


St. Rose of Lima, Virgin

From her life written by Hansen a Dominican friar, and from the elegant panegyric pronounced by F. Paul Oliva, S. J., in presence of the pope.

A.D. 1617.

ASIA, Europe, and Africa had been watered with the blood of many martyrs, and adorned during many ages, with the shining examples of innumerable saints, whilst, by the inscrutable judgments of God, the vast regions of America lay barren, and, as it were, abandoned till the faith of Christ began to enlighten them, and this saint appeared on that hemisphere like a rose amidst thorns, the first-fruits of its canonized saints. She was of Spanish extraction, born at Lima, the capital of Peru, in 1586. 1 She was christened Isabel; but the figure and colour of her face in the cradle seeming, in some measure, to resemble a beautiful rose, the name of Rose was given her. From her infancy her patience in suffering, and her love of mortification were extraordinary, and whilst yet a child, she ate no fruit, and fasted three days a week, allowing herself on them only bread and water, and on other days taking only unsavory herbs and pulse. When she was grown up, her garden was planted only with bitter herbs, and interspersed with figures of crosses. In her exercises she took St. Catherine of Sienna for her model. Every incentive of pride and sensuality was to her an object of abhorrence; and, for fear of taking any secret satisfaction in vanity, she studied to make those things in which it might insinuate its poison, painful to her. One day her mother having put on her head a garland of flowers, she secretly stuck in it a pin, which pricked her so deep, that the maid at night could not take off the garland without some difficulty. Hearing others frequently commend her beauty, and fearing lest it should be an occasion of temptation to any one, whenever she was to go abroad to any public place, she used, the night before, to rub her face and hands with the bark and powder of Indian pepper, which is a violent corrosive, in order to disfigure her skin with little blotches and swellings. A young man happening one day to admire the fineness of the skin of her hand, she immediately ran and thrust both her hands into hot lime, saying: “Never let my hands be to any one occasion of temptation.” What a confusion is this example to those who make it their study to set themselves off by their dress, to become snares to others! We admire a St. Bennet on briers, a St. Bernard freezing in the ice, and a St. Francis in the snow; these saints were cruel to themselves, not to be overcome by the devil; but Rose punishes herself to preserve others. Thus did she arm herself against her external enemies, and against the revolt of her senses. But she was aware that this victory would avail her little, unless she died to herself by crucifying in her heart inordinate self-love, which is the source of pride, and all the other passions. This is the most important and the most difficult part of our spiritual warfare; for so long as self-love reigns in the affections of the heart, it blasts with its poisonous influence even virtues themselves; it has so many little artful windings, that it easily insinuates and disguises itself every where, wears every mask, and seeks itself even in fasting and prayer. Rose triumphed over this subtle enemy by the most profound humility and the most perfect obedience and denial of her own will. She never departed wilfully from the order of her parents in the least tittle, and gave proofs of her scrupulous obedience, and invincible patience under all pains, labour, and contradictions, which surprised all who knew her.

Her parents, by the vicissitude of worldly affairs, fell from a state of opulence into great distress, and Rose was taken into the family of the treasurer Gonsalvo, by that gentleman’s pious lady; and by working there all day in the garden, and late at night with her needle, she relieved them in their necessities. These employments were agreeable to her penitential spirit and humility, and afforded her an opportunity of never interrupting the interior commerce of her soul with God. She probably would never have entertained any thoughts of another state, if she had not found herself importuned by her friends to marry. To rid herself of such troublesome solicitations, and more easily to comply with the obligation she had taken upon herself by a vow of serving God in a state of holy virginity, she enrolled herself in the third Order of St. Dominic. Her love of solitude made her choose for her dwelling a little lonely cell in a garden. Extraordinary fasts, hair cloths, studded iron chains which she wore about her waist, bitter herbs mingled in the sustenance which she took, and other austerities, were the inventions of her spirit of mortification and penance. She wore upon her head a thin circle of silver, (a metal very common in Peru,) studded on the inside with little sharp pricks or nails, which wounded her head, in imitation of a crown of thorns. This she did to put her in mind of the adorable passion of Christ, which incomprehensible mystery of divine love and mercy, she desired to have always in her thoughts. She never spoke of herself but as of the basest of sinful monsters, the sink of the universe, unworthy to breathe the air, to behold the light, or to walk on the ground; and she never ceased to adore the infinite goodness and mercy of God towards her. So ardent was her love of God, that as often as she spoke of it, the accent of her voice, and the fire which sparkled in her countenance, discovered the flame which consumed her holy soul. This appeared most sensibly when she was in presence of the blessed sacrament, and when in receiving it she united her heart to her beloved in that wonderful fountain of his love; her whole life was a continual vehement thirst after that divine banquet, in which she found her greatest comfort and support during the course of her earthly pilgrimage. God favoured the fervour of her charity with many extraordinary graces: and Christ once in a vision called her soul his spouse. But for her humiliation, and the exercise of her virtue, she suffered, during fifteen years, grievous persecutions from her friends and others; and, what were much more severe trials, interior desolation, and dreadful agonies of spiritual anguish in her soul. The devil also assaulted her with violent temptations, filling her imagination with filthy phantoms. But God afterwards recompensed her fidelity and constancy in this life with extraordinary caresses. Under long and most painful sicknesses it was her prayer: “Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase thy love in my heart.” She happily passed to eternal bliss on the 24th of August, 1617, being thirty-one years old. The chapter, senate, and all the most honourable companies of the city, by turns, carried her body to the grave; the archbishop assisted at her funeral. Several miracles wrought by her means were juridically proved by one hundred and eighty witnesses before the apostolical commissaries. She was canonized by Clement X. in 1671, and the 30th day of August has been appointed for her festival.

The saints, whether in the world, in the desert, or in the cloister, studied to live every moment to God. If we make a pure and perfect intention of always doing His will the governing principle of our whole lives, we thus consecrate to Him all our moments, even our meals, our rest, our conversation, and whatever else we do; all our works will thus be full. To attain to this perfection we must crucify in our hearts all inordinate self-love, or it will creep into our actions, and secretly rob God of them. We must study to remove every obstacle that can hinder the perfect reign of divine love in our souls, and must pray and labour with all our strength, that this love be continually increased in us. If true charity animate our souls it will regulate and sanctify all our actions. By it we shall ardently endeavour to glorify God alone in all our works, and sincerely offer and refer ourselves and all we do to this end, repeating in the beginning of every action, Hallowed be thy name, both by me with all my powers and strength, and by all thy creatures now and for ever. Or, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; may it be always fulfilled by me, and in me, and all others, with the most ardent affection, and pure intention, as it is by the blessed angels above, O God of my heart, my God, and my All!

Note 1. It is not improbable that America was known to the ancient Carthaginians, and that it was the great island Atalantis of which Plato speaks, both in his Critias and Timæus, as larger than Asia and Africa, though he adds, that it had been swallowed up by an earthquake, with other fabulous accounts. It is well known in what manner Christopher Columbo, a Genoese, under the protection of Ferdinand, king of Spain, in 1492, first discovered the Lucay Islands in America, viz. Guanahani or The Desired Land, and afterwards Cuba, Hispaniola, &c.; also, how Americo Vespucci, a Florentine, by the authority of Emmanuel, king of Portugal, in 1501, sailing as far as Brasil, discovered that vast continent which was called from him America. Amongst the barbarous nations which inhabited it, all the rest, though united by certain laws of society and government, might justly be called savages comparatively to those which composed the two great empires of Mexico and Peru. These were both acquainted with, and very expert in the useful and necessary arts, though strangers to sciences, and even to the use of writing or an alphabet, properly so called; so that the memory of transactions was only preserved by signs and marks, made by a wonderful variation of colours and knots called Quippos, in threads or cords; and by these they expressed what they desired. The same was the manner of writing (if it may be so called) used by the ancient Chinese, before the invention of their hieroglyphical letters. F. Jos. Acosta (Natural and Moral Hist. of the Indies, b. 6, c. 8,) says, these Indians who were converted to the faith, readily wrote, or rather marked down, by a dexterous arrangement of these Quippos, the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Creed, in order to learn them more easily by heart. The Peruvians preserved by these Quippos the history of the chief actions of their Incas, on which see the accurate Inca Garcillasso de la Vega, (in Historia Incarum, l. 6, c. 8.) who was himself of the race of the Incas. The Mexicans, and ancient inhabitants of Canada, wrote, not by Quippos, but by certain hieroglyphics, that is, marks or little pictures, framed with meal, or such substances, on the barks of trees. Their figures resembled hooks, axes, cords, &c. but were never understood by any Europeans. Specimens of them are published by Olaus Wormius of Copenhagen, in Musæo Wormiano, p. 384, and by John de Laat. (Descr. Indiæ Occid. l. 5, c. 10.) The Spaniards, in the conquest of Mexico, destroyed many such books, which they at first mistook for magical charms. Certain annals of Mexico, in this manner of writing, are preserved in the Vatican library. See Jos. d’Acosta (Descr. Indiæ Occid. l. 7, c. 19,) and Adrian Relandus (Diss. 12, de Linguis Americanis, t. 3, p. 166.) The Peruvians and Mexicans performed their arithmetical operations by the help of grains of mais, or Indian wheat. The polity or constitution of the two empires of Mexico and Peru, and their art of government, resembled, in some respect, those of civilized kingdoms; their cities, palaces, and temples were surprisingly magnificent and well regulated. These were richer in Peru, but the court of Mexico was supported with greater state. Their armies were exceedingly numerous; but their chief weapons were bows and arrows, stones which they threw, or sharp flints fixed on poles, instead of steel weapons. The Mexicans had a great number of fantastical idols. They were conquered under their great emperor Montezuma, in 1521, by Ferdinand Cortes, who with eight hundred Spaniards, and some thousand Indian allies, destroyed the great city of Mexico, which stood in an island in the midst of a lake. New Mexico was afterwards built upon the banks of the same water. The history of the conquest of Mexico by Cortes is most elegantly written by Don Antonio de Solis.

  The Incas or emperors of Peru resided in the rich and stately city of Cusco. The language of Quito was generally understood over that whole empire, the polity of which was superior to that of Mexico. The chief god of the Peruvians was the sun, to which they offered, in his great temple at Cusco, bloody victims, and fruits of the earth. Francis Pizarro, a haughty, cruel, and perfidious Spanish adventurer, conquered Peru, caused Atabalipa, the Inca, to be strangled, and built the city of Lima, in a valley of that name, in 1535. Pizarro, Almadra, and all the other Spanish adventurers or generals in Peru perished by the sword in civil wars amongst themselves. (See Histoire Générale des Voyages, &c. at Paris, 1756, t. 13, and the relations of Condamine and Bougere; also Jos. Acosta’s History of the Indies.) In the learned and ingenious dissertation, Upon the Peopling of America, inserted in vol. 20, of the Universal History, (which makes amends for certain defective parts of that work,) the common opinion is invincibly confirmed against Whiston, that America was chiefly peopled from north-east Tartary, and the island of Kamschatka, or Jesso, on the north of Japan, perhaps either by a continuous tract of land towards the North Pole, or by contiguous islands, only separated by small straits. Some ruins of Japanese or Chinese ships have been found on the American coasts; and in Canada the people had a tradition, that foreign merchants, clothed in silk, had formerly visited them in great ships, namely, Chinese. The names of many of the American kings, are Tartar, ending in ax; and Tatarax, who reigned anciently in Quivira, means the Tartar. Manc or Mancu, the founder of the Peruvian empire, probably came from the Manchew Tartars. Montezuma, the usual title of the emperors of Mexico, is of Japanese extraction; for Motazaiuma, according to Hornius, is the common appellation of the Japanese monarchs.

  F. Jartoux having obliged the world, in 1709, with an accurate description of the famous plant Gin-seng, then only found in Manchew Tartary, it has since been discovered in Canada, where the Americans called it Garentoguen, a word of the same import in their language with Gin-seng, in the Tartar or Chinese, both signifying, The thighs of a man. (See Lafitau’s dissertation on the Gin-seng, printed at Paris in 1718.) In many particular customs, religious rites, institutions, species of food, &c. there is a wonderful agreement or resemblance between the Americans and the Manchew Tartars; and as these latter have no horses, so neither were there any in America, when it was first discovered, though since they were first imported by the Spaniards, they have been exceedingly propagated there. The Tartars therefore furnished this great country chiefly with its first inhabitants; some few Chinese and Japanese colonies, also settled there. Powel, in his History of Wales, informs us, that Prince Madoc, having been deprived of his right to the crown, in 1170, with a numerous colony, put to sea, discovered to the west a new world of wonderful beauty and fertility, and settled there. It is objected that there were blacks in America when that country was first discovered. But there were only a small number about Careta, whose ancestors seem to have been accidentally conveyed thither from the coasts of Congo or Nigritia, in Africa. The ancient inhabitants of Hispaniola, Canada, Mexico, and Peru, had several traditional notions alluding to Noe, the universal deluge, and some other points of the Mosaic history, as Herrera, Huet, Gemelli, and others, who have treated on this subject, assure us. America was the last peopled among all the known parts of the globe; and several migrations of Tartars into that country seem to have been made since the establishment of Christianity. See these points proved at large in the aforesaid dissertation, against the objections of Deists, and the whimsical notions of Whiston, in his Dissertation upon the Curses denounced against Cain and Lamech, pretending to prove that the Africans and Indians are their posterity. See also the learned Spanish Benedictin, F. Bennet Feyjoo, Theatro Critico, t. 5; Discurso 15, p. 320. [
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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume VIII: August. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.


Santa Rosa da Lima Vergine

23 agosto - Memoria Facoltativa

Nacque a Lima il 20 aprile 1586, decima di tredici figli. Il suo nome di battesimo era Isabella. Era figlia di una nobile famiglia, di origine spagnola. Quando la sua famiglia subì un tracollo finanziario. Rosa si rimboccò le maniche e aiutò in casa anche nei lavori materiali. Sin da piccola aspirò a consacrarsi a Dio nella vita claustrale, ma rimase «vergine nel mondo». Il suo modello di vita fu santa Caterina da Siena. Come lei, vestì l'abito del Terz'ordine domenicano, a vent'anni. Allestì nella casa materna una sorta di ricovero per i bisognosi, dove prestava assistenza ai bambini ed agli anziani abbandonati, soprattutto a quelli di origine india. Dal 1609 si richiuse in una cella di appena due metri quadrati, costruita nel giardino della casa materna, dalla quale usciva solo per la funzione religiosa, dove trascorreva gran parte delle sue giornate a pregare ed in stretta unione con il Signore. Ebbe visioni mistiche. Nel 1614 fu obbligata a trasferirsi nell'abitazione della nobile Maria de Ezategui, dove morì, straziata dalle privazioni, tre anni dopo. Era il 24 agosto 1617, festa di S. Bartolomeo. (Avvenire)

Patronato: Fioristi

Etimologia: Rosa = dal nome del fiore

Emblema: Giglio, Rosa

Martirologio Romano: Santa Rosa, vergine, che, insigne fin da fanciulla per la sua austera sobrietà di vita, vestì a Lima in Perù l’abito delle Suore del Terz’Ordine regolare dei Predicatori. Dedita alla penitenza e alla preghiera e ardente di zelo per la salvezza dei peccatori e delle popolazioni indigene, aspirava a donare la vita per loro, giungendo a imporsi grandi sacrifici, pur di ottenere loro la salvezza della fede in Cristo. La sua morte avvenne il giorno seguente a questo.

(24 agosto: A Lima in Perù, anniversario della morte di santa Rosa, la cui memoria si celebra il giorno precedente a questo).

Il mese di Maggio è tradizionalmente consacrato all’impegno di rendere particolari omaggi alla Madre divina. Gli omaggi possono essere di infinite qualità e ogni santo, a suo modo, ne insegna di personali e unici. Il proposito di incrementare la preghiera mariana del Rosario, il rinnovato impegno a vincere un difetto predominante del proprio carattere, la rinuncia a qualche diletto lecito, le opere di carità e qualsiasi altra cosa purché fatta in onore della Santa Vergine.

Una santa che sembra compendiare tutte le pratiche di devozione alla Madonna è proprio santa Rosa da Lima, la quale, unendo la preghiera e la penitenza, diviene un valido modello per chi, a misura della propria generosità, vuol fare del mese di Maggio un attestato d’amore a Maria Santissima.

La Santa peruviana, in questo, era “smisurata”. Un giorno ad esempio ebbe l’idea di confezionare un abito alla Madonna: «Le farò – diceva – un gonna con 600 Ave Maria, altrettante Salve Regina e quindici giorni di digiuno, a ricordo della pura gioia cagionatale dall’Annunciazione. Comporrò il manto con identico numero di Ave Maria e di Salve Regina, aggiungendovi quindici Rosari e quindici giorni di digiuno in memoria della sua visita a santa Elisabetta...», e con altre preghiere e sacrifici confezionò le frange e gli ornamenti del manto, il velo e una collana. Tutto ciò era massimamente gradito alla Madonna che ricambiò il suo zelo in modo singolare.

Rosa di Santa Maria

Il nome di battesimo della Santa non è quello con cui è universalmente venerata. Nata il 20 aprile 1586 a Lima, i genitori Gaspare Flores e Maria Oliva al fonte battesimale le imposero il nome di Isabel Flores. Non così il Cielo. Successe infatti che un giorno mentre la bimba di appena tre mesi dormiva nella sua culla, i passanti videro il suo volto divenire simile a una rosa sbocciata. Da allora la madre non volle chiamarla con altro nome che quello di Rosa. Alcuni anni dopo, però, mentre la fanciulla protestava davanti alla statua della Madonna del Rosario: «Perché mai io sola fra tutti non porto il nome impostomi nel Battesimo? E quello che porto, non mi viene forse dato per impulso di vanità?», la Madonna le apparve rassicurandola: «Il mio divin Figlio approva il nome di Rosa, ma vuole che vi aggiunga il mio. Perciò d’ora innanzi ti chiamerai Rosa di Santa Maria». Dunque non Isabel, né Rosa, ma Rosa di Santa Maria si doveva chiamare colei che avrebbe fatto della sua esistenza un dono alla Vergine.

Sempre vergine

Una volta che la giovane Rosa aveva portato un mazzo di fiori a Gesù, il Signore le apparve e tra tutti ne prese uno dicendole: «Rosa, tu sei questo fiore. Io lo prendo per me». Ecco l’aspirazione di tutta la sua vita: lasciare il mondo di cui aveva compreso la vanità ed essere solo di Cristo. All’età di 5 anni aveva già emesso il voto di perpetua verginità – ciò la rende ancor più simile alla Semprevergine, anch’Ella entrata nel tempio alla verdissima età di 3 anni –, tuttavia il desiderio di consacrazione divenne via via più esigente spingendola a chiedere di entrare tra le Clarisse di Lima.

Venne il giorno tanto atteso in cui lasciò la casa paterna, accompagnata dal fratello Ferdinando, ma successe un fatto imprevisto. Durante il tragitto, passando dinanzi alla chiesa di San Domenico, pregò il fratello di poter entrare a visitare per l’ultima volta la Madonna del Rosario. Entrata che fu, s’inginocchiò e si mise in preghiera. Il fratello, che aveva fretta, cominciò a richiamarla, dicendole che in monastero il tempo per pregare non le sarebbe certo mancato, ma la Santa, nonostante i ripetuti tentativi, non poteva alzarsi da lì, come trattenuta da una forza sovraumana. Comprese allora che la destinazione scelta non era quella designata da Dio e promise alla Vergine che se le avesse ridato la libertà di alzarsi, avrebbe senz’altro aspettato di conoscere i Sacri Voleri. La Madonna acconsentì sorridendo e non tardò a manifestare a Rosa la divina Volontà. Il giorno 10 agosto 1606, in quella stessa cappella della Madonna del Rosario, la giovane ventenne vestiva l’abito del Terz’Ordine Domenicano.

“Sicut lilium inter spinas”

Non può esservi espressione più adatta a evocare l’identità spirituale di questa Santa, del famoso versetto del Cantico dei cantici: come giglio fra le spine. La vergine peruviana infatti è passata alla storia dell’agiografia come una Santa penitente del calibro di Santa Maria Maddalena.

Crescendo, non solo aveva allontanato da sé ogni vanità nella cura del corpo e delle vesti ma, convinta che “Amore con amor si paga”, volle dare al Signore un ricambio d’amore quanto più simile al Suo. Da qui la proporzione gigantesca e quasi spaventosa della sua penitenza.

Il suo programma giornaliero di vita ha cifre sorprendenti: 12 ore di preghiera, 10 ore di lavoro manuale e 2 sole di riposo. Di notte, per poter pregare senza essere vinta dal sonno, si teneva sospesa ai chiodi di una croce un po’ più alta di lei e appoggiata al muro. Tra le altre preghiere, durante questo tempo recitava, con particolare devozione, le Litanie lauretane in onore della Madonna. Fu il suo direttore spirituale a moderare il fervore della Santa, imponendole maggior tempo per il riposo. La mattina dopo un sonno così scarso e scomodo, la natura faticava a svegliarsi. La Santa ricorse come di consueto all’aiuto della Madre divina pregandola a svegliarla all’ora stabilita. La Madonna si assunse l’incarico, svegliandola ogni giorno delicatamente. Una mattina al richiamo della Madonna che come al solito le diceva: «Levati, figlia, ecco l’ora della preghiera», la Santa rispose: «Cara Madre, io mi levo, mi levo», ma il sonno la colse nuovamente. La Santissima Vergine allora le si avvicinò di nuovo, la toccò e le disse: «Levati, o figlia, è la seconda volta che ti chiamo». La Santa questa volta aprì immediatamente gli occhi, ed ebbe appena il tempo di vedere il volto soave della Madonna.

Basterebbe questo episodio per comprendere quale intimità univa Madre e figlia, e la sua vita è tutta intessuta di tali preziosi episodi. Un altro giorno, per esempio, mentre la Santa pregava nella chiesa di San Domenico, improvvisamente si ricordò di aver lasciato su qualche mobile della camera uno strumento di penitenza. Turbata perché qualcuno l’avrebbe potuto vedere, pregò la Madonna che lo nascondesse.
Detto fatto: quando tornò a casa lo trovò rinchiuso in un ripostiglio, messovi dall’Angelo Custode per ordine di Maria Santissima.

L’ultimo sorriso

Consumata dalla penitenza, offerta per la salvezza dei peccatori e la conversione delle popolazioni indigene, si avvicinò per lei piuttosto presto il tempo di passare da questa all’altra vita.
Quel che temeva non era una vita breve, ma unicamente una vita vuota d’amore, fu per questo che al sentore della fine imminente, pur avendo solo 31 anni, non poté che rallegrarsi, realizzando di aver dato veramente tutto al Suo Signore. Ma prima avrebbe dovuto soffrire ancora molto. Durante la sua agonia ebbe a esclamare: «So bene di meritare ciò che soffro; ma non avrei mai creduto che tanti mali potessero riversarsi su un corpo umano e diramarsi così in tutte le membra... Nondimeno si compia in ciò, come in tutto il resto, la divina Volontà».

Qualche giorno prima di morire le fu dato il Santo Viatico e l’Estrema Unzione, e fu rapita in un’estasi d’amore. Morì solo dopo aver rinnovato i suoi voti religiosi, ripetendo più volte: «Gesù, sii con me!». Era la notte del 23 agosto 1617.

Dopo la morte, quando il suo corpo, accerchiato da ogni parte da gente esultante di devozione, fu trasportato nella Cappella del Rosario, la Madonna da quella statua dinanzi alla quale la Santa tante volte aveva pregato le sorrise ancora, per l’ultima volta. La folla presente gridò al miracolo.

Quel sorriso è il segno del più bel compiacimento che la Madre divina volle mostrare per una vita spesa interamente in una eroicità d’amore con pochi eguali.

Autore: Rito Cascioli

Fonte: Il Settimanale di Padre Pio




Nacque a Lima, capitale dell'allora ricco Perù, il 20 aprile 1586, decima di tredici figli. Il suo nome di battesimo era Isabella. Era figlia di una nobile famiglia, di origine spagnola. Il padre si chiamava Gaspare Flores, gentiluomo della Compagnia degli Archibugi, la madre donna Maria de Oliva. Per cui, il nome della Santa era Isabella Flores de Oliva. Ma questo sarà dimenticato in favore del nome che le diede, per la prima volta, la serva affezionata, di origine india, Mariana, che le faceva da balia, la quale, colpita dalla bellezza della bambina, secondo il costume indios, le diede il nome di un fiore. “Sei bella - le disse - sei rosa”. 

Fu cresimata per le mani dell'arcivescovo di Lima ed anche lui Santo, Toribio de Mogrovejo, che le confermò, tra l'altro, in onore alle sue straordinarie doti fisiche e morali, quell’appellativo datole dalla serva india. Rosa ad esso aggiunse “di Santa Maria” ad esprimere il tenerissimo amore che sempre la legò alla Vergine Madre del cielo soprattutto sotto il titolo di Regina del Rosario, la quale non mancò di comunicarle il dono dell'infanzia spirituale fino a farle condividere la gioia e l'onore di stringere spesso tra le braccia il Bambino Gesù. 

Visse un'infanzia serena ed economicamente agiata. Ben presto, però, la sua famiglia subì un tracollo finanziario. Rosa, che aveva studiato con impegno, aveva una discreta cultura ed aveva appreso l'arte del ricamo. Si rimboccò, quindi, le maniche, aiutando la famiglia in ogni genere di attività, dai lavori casalinghi alla coltivazione dell'orto ed al ricamo, onde potersi guadagnare da vivere. 

Sin da piccola aspirò a consacrarsi a Dio nella vita claustrale, ma il Signore le fece conoscere la sua volontà che rimanesse vergine nel mondo.
Ebbe modo di leggere qualcosa di S. Caterina da Siena. Subito la elesse a propria madre e sorella, facendola suo modello di vita, apprendendo da lei l'amore per Cristo, per la sua Chiesa e per i fratelli indios. Come la santa senese vestì l'abito del Terz'ordine domenicano. Aveva vent'anni. Allestì nella casa materna una sorta di ricovero per i bisognosi, dove prestava assistenza ai bambini ed agli anziani abbandonati, in special modo a quelli di origine india. Sempre come Caterina, fu resa degna di soffrire la passione del Suo divino Sposo, ma provò pure la sofferenza della “notte oscura”, che durò ben 15 anni. Ebbe anche lo straordinario dono delle nozze mistiche. Fu arricchita dal suo Celeste Sposo altresì di vari carismi come quello di compiere miracoli, della profezia e della bilocazione. 

Dal 1609 si richiuse in una cella di appena due metri quadrati, costruita nel giardino della casa materna, dalla quale usciva solo per la funzione religiosa, dove trascorreva gran parte delle sue giornate in ginocchio, a pregare ed in stretta unione con il Signore e delle sue visioni mistiche, che iniziarono a prodursi con impressionante regolarità, tutte le settimane, dal giovedì al sabato. 

Nel 1614, obbligata a viva forza dai familiari, si trasferì nell'abitazione della nobile Maria de Ezategui, dove morì, straziata dalle privazioni, tre anni dopo. 

Grande, già in vita, fu la sua fama di santità. L'episodio più eclatante della sua esistenza terrena ce la presenta abbracciata al tabernacolo per difenderlo dai calvinisti olandesi guidati all'assalto della città di Lima dalla flotta dello Spitberg. L’inattesa liberazione della città, dovuta all’improvvisa morte dell’ammiraglio olandese, fu attribuita alla sua intercessione. 

Condivise la sofferenza degli indios, che si sentivano avviliti, emarginati, vilipesi, maltrattati soltanto a motivo della loro diversità di razza e di condizione sociale. 

Sentendosi avvicinare la morte, confidò “Questo è il giorno delle mie nozze eterne”. Era il 24 agosto 1617, festa di S. Bartolomeo. Aveva 31 anni. 

Il suo corpo si venera a Lima, nella basilica domenicana del S. Rosario. Fu beatificata nel 1668. Due anni dopo fu insolitamente proclamata patrona principale delle Americhe, delle Filippine e delle Indie occidentali: si trattava di un riconoscimento singolare dal momento che un decreto di Papa Barberini (Urbano VIII) del 1630 stabiliva che non potessero darsi quali protettori di regni e città persone che non fossero state canonizzate. Fu comunque canonizzata il 12 aprile 1671 da papa Clemente X. È anche patrona dei giardinieri e dei fioristi.
È invocata in caso di ferite, contro le eruzioni vulcaniche ed in caso di litigi in famiglia.

Autore: Francesco Patruno