Santa Rosa de Lima

(Isabel Flores de Oliva, 1586 - 1617) a Peruvian religious of the order of the Dominicans, was the first saint of America. After having shown signs of intense spiritual precocity, at age 20 I take the habit of Dominican tertiary, and I consecrate his life to the attention of children and the sick and to ascetic practices, from this movement extending to the fame of his holiness.

 Santa Rosa de Lima

Already venerated in life for her mystical visions and the miracles attributed to her, in a century and more she was canonized by the Catholic Church, who declared her patroness of Lima and Peru, and more after America, the Philippines and the East Indies.


Santa Rosa de Lima was born on April 20, 1586, in a neighborhood of the Hospital del Espiritu Santo in the city of Lima, then the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. She was the daughter of Gaspar Flores and María de Oliva from Lima. She received a baptism in the parish of San Sebastián de Lima.

She was baptized as Isabel Flores de Oliva, and in her confirmation she received the name of Rosa, nickname which her relatives practically used since her birth for her beauty and for the vision her mother had, where the girl's face became a rose. Santa Rosa de Lima assumed that name later, when he understood that it was "rose from the garden of Christ" and adopted the denomination religion of Rosa de Santa María.

The stage of his childhood and early adolescence was the most important stage for the formation of his personality.

 Santa Rosa de Lima
In Lima

From her childhood her religious vocation and a singular spiritual elevation manifested itself in the future saint. He learned music, song and poetry from the hand of his mother. Which was dedicated to instruct the daughters of the nobility. It was endowed for the sewing tasks with which it would help to sustain the family budget. With the return to the Peruvian capital of the family, I stand out for its selfless dedication to others and for extraordinary mystical gifts.

In her adolescence Santa Rosa was attracted with a singular force by the model of the Dominican Santa Catalina de Siena (Tuscan mystic of the fourteenth century); followed his example she shed her attractive hair and vowed perpetual chastity, thus contrary to the plans of her parents, whose idea was to marry her after much insistence the parents desisted thus allowing him to follow his purposes and spiritual life. He wanted to join the Dominican order, but at that time there was no convent of the order of the city, in 1606 he took the Dominican tertiary habit in the church of Santo Domingo in Lima.

Rosa continued to live with her family members, thus helping with household chores and worrying about people in need. And soon he had a great reputation for his virtues, which I extend throughout a life dedicated to the Christian education of children and care for the sick; In this way, I am able to install a hospital near your home so that I can give you better assistance.

 Santa Rosa de Lima

In recent years he was in 1615, with the help of his brother, Hernando Flores de Herrera, built a small cell or hermitage in the garden of his parents' house, in this little space Santa Rosa de Lima was collected with relish to pray and doing penance, practicing a severe asceticism, with a crown of thorns under the veil, hair nailed to the wall so as not to fall asleep, gall as a drink, rigorous fasts and constant discipline.

Santa Rosa de Lima suffered misunderstandings from family and friends thus suffering stages of deep emptiness, all this fruitful in an intense spiritual experience, full of ecstasies and wonders, such as communication with plants and animals without losing their cheerful spirit and the beauty of their face, in this way I reach the highest level of mystical scale, spiritual marriage: he tells that in the church of Santo Domingo, he saw Jesus Christ and he asked him to be his wife: thus on March 26, 1617 was celebrated in the church of Santo Domingo de Lima his mystical betrothal with Christ, being Fray Alonso Velásquez who put on his finger the symbolic ring as a sign of their perpetual union.

Rosa spent the last years in the house of her benefactor and confidante Gonzalo de la Maza. A few months after that betrothal, Santa Rosa de Lima fell seriously ill and was affected by an acute hemiplegia. In this way the virgin gave her soul to God on August 24, 1617, in the early hours of the morning at only 31 years.

The process that led to the beatification and canonization of Rosa de Lima began almost immediately, with the information of witnesses promoted in 1617-1618 by the archbishop of Lima Bartolomé Lobo Guerrero. After five decades of this procedure Pope Clement IX beatified her in 1668, and a year later declared her the patron saint of Lima and Peru, her successor Clement X the canonizo in 1671; a year before I declare her the principal patron of America, the Philippines and the East Indies. This festivity of Santa Rosa de Lima is celebrated on August 30 in most of the countries with the exception of the Vatican II council the transfer to August 23.

 Santa Rosa de Lima

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