The Patroness of Santa Rosa

St. Rose of Lima, St. Joseph Cathedral, Macon, Georgia
St. Rose of Lima, St. Joseph Cathedral, Macon, Georgia

The President of the IRL is Most Rev. Robert Vasa, Bishop of Santa Rosa. A relatively new community of sisters founded in the diocese is called the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa. Who or what is Santa Rosa? It is none other than St. Rose of Lima, patroness of the Americas and of the Diocese of Santa Rosa!

We recently celebrated the Feast Day of St. Rose of Lima on August 23rd but her traditional Feast Day was August 30th, so we can honor her life in between both dates with this little interesting history.

St. Rose of Lima was born in Lima, Peru, April 20th, 1586, the first canonized saint of the New World. Though very beautiful, she did what she could to appear unattractive to men for she had taken a vow of virginity at a young age. In 1597, she was confirmed by the Archbishop of Lima, Turibius de Mongrovejo (d. 1606, canonized 1726). Like St. Catherine of Siena, she became a Third Order Dominican. Her life of prayer and penance and dedication to the poor was carried out from the family home for her parents did not want her to enter a convent. She died in 1617 and was canonized in 1671.

On St. Rose’s feast day in 1828, a priest was celebrating Mass on a creek bank near the site now occupied by St. Eugene Cathedral in Santa Rosa, California. A group of Native Americans watched from a distance so Father Juan went over and explained the Faith to them and the necessity of baptism. A young girl stepped forward and asked to be baptized. She received the name of Rosa, hence the rivlet and the area got their names. There is a plaque commemorating the event on a path along the creek.

St. Rose of Lima, pray for the diocese and the Marian Sisters, that they may be people of dedication to prayer and to selfless service to those in need.

“Apart from the Cross,

there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”

— St. Rose of Lima

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