Thursday, August 18, 2016



           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 the sick.

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.