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                                                           Santa Rosa de Lima

Isabel de Flores y del Oliva, called Rose by her mother because of her red cheeks and confirmed with that name, was the first person in the Americas to be canonized as a Saint. Born at Lima, Peru, in 1586, she worked long and hard to help support her family, growing flowers and doing embroidery and other needlework.

 

At five she wanted to make a vow of virginity. In her teens she actively resisted her parents’ plans for marriage. When they placed a wreath of roses on her head, she made it a penitential instrument, studding the hidden interior of the crown with spikes that dug into her scalp. She warded off suitors by rubbing her face with pepper, causing her skin to blister and crack.

 

Having taken a vow of virginity early in life, she consistently refused to marry and at twenty years of age became a Dominican Tertiary, and lived in a summerhouse in the garden of her home. Here she practiced extreme penance and mortification, modeling her life after that of St. Catherine of Siena.

 

St. Rose bore her many and great adversities with heroic patience and consoled the sick and suffering among the poor, Indians, and slaves. Consequently, she is regarded as the originator of social service in Peru. She died in 1617 at thirty-one years of age and was canonized in 1671 by Pope Clement X

 

It is thought that when the Spanish families along the Chama River first built the private Chapel of Santa Rosa de Lima that they dedicated their chapel to this saint. Later when the chapel was licensed by the Archdiocese the name remained the same. In 2010 the small chapel off the sacristy in St Tomas de Apostle Church in Abiquiu was renamed La Capilla de Santa Rosa.

 

Feast Day - August 23. This is a major fiesta in Abiquiu. It begins with a mass at the ruins of Santa Rosa de Lima followed by a procession that carries the saint up into the village of Abiquiu for a day of celebration.