St. Rose was the first flower of sanctity of South America. God loved her with a singular love and confided her to the Order of St. Dominic. Father Velasquez, six other Dominicans and five Jesuits trained her soul with the utmost solicitude. Day by day this flower grew in beauty, carefully hedged in by the thorns of mortification, and kept in perfect solitude in the midst of the world. But the perfume of her charity and purity was diffused all around, and drew the faithful to the practice of Christian perfection.
Rose was privileged to hear these words from Jesus: “Rose of My Heart, be thou My Spouse.” The great cross of her life was not her cruel penances, but an interior desolation which tortured her several hours each day for fifteen years. She then experienced a kind of reprobation, and cried out with Jesus on the Cross: “My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” At such times it was her consolation to adorn the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Dominican Church, which she did with exquisite taste. She died in 1617 at the age of thirty-one, manifesting great gratitude to her benefactor Dr. Gonzales, in whose house she lived for some years.
Prayer: “Alas! Were it possible I would go through the streets barefooted, clothed in hair-cloth, cross in hand, to call the world to penance. I would say: ‘Think of it. Lost for eternity!’” St. Rose of Lima.
Practice: Pray for the Dominican family of Peru and the Americas.
From “Saints and Saintly Dominicans: Daily Reflections on Their Lives”, edited by Rev. Thomas a Kempis Reilly, O.P. (1915).