A little girl was born in Lima, Peru, in
August of 1586. She was named Isabel for her grandmother.One day her nursemaid looked into her crib
and marveled at her beauty. The nursemaid told everyone the baby’s face looked like
a beautiful rose.
Everyone, except the grandmother, began to
call the child Rose. Grandma did not like that, but soon everyone called the
little girl, Rose. Rose was not only pretty; she learned all about Jesus. And
she truly loved Him.
Rose grew up in Lima at a time when
terrible things were happening. Many people were very poor, and the officials
were often cruel. Rose saw this and she wanted to do something about it. She
built herself a little room in the garden of her house. It was like the size of
small closet. It was just big enough for her to enter and pray there. She spent
many hours telling Jesus about her people and her love for Him.
‘Rose not only
prayed, she also visited the sick. She prayed often at Santo Domingo Church.
She had a special devotion to the Infant Jesus. She called him her “Little
Doctor.” She asked Him to help her heal
Rose had many friends especially among the
poor. It is important to have good friends. Rose had two Saints as friends.
Her neighbor, who lived down the street,
was a boy about her age. His name was Martin.Today, we know Rose as St Rose of Lima. Her friend Martin is called St.
Martin de Porres. She was baptized and confirmed by another Saint who was much
older. He was the Archbishop of Lima and today we call him St. Toribio.
All three loved the poor.Rose and Martin both healed people. Toribio
was appointed at the request of King Philip the Second of Spain. Toribio
traveled from Ecuador to Argentina and wherever he went he helped the poor. He
is known as the Defender of Native Peoples.
Even today, these friends are remembered
in Lima.Rose and Martin belonged to the
Dominican Order. They wore white robes like priests and nuns when they served
the sick or went to church. Even today, boys and girls in Lima dress like Rose
and Martin on their First Holy Communion Day.And the Seminary there is named for Toribio.
Good friends help us follow Jesus. I hope
you have good friends who help you be good and help others around you like
Rose, Martin and Toribio.
St Rose of Lima’s Feast Day is celebrated
in Peru on August 30, but in many countries it was changed to Aug 23 when the
Roman Calendar was revised in 1969.