Saint Rose of Lima Feast day Aug 23 - Taken from our Book, "Visionaries Mystics and Stigmatists."
A Rose from Heaven
In the midst of so much political activity in Lima, little Rose was born on April 20, 1586 to Oliva and Gaspar Flores. From the very beginning of her life she exhibited a great deal of mysticism. She was the only child of Gaspar and Oliva’s eleven children who did not cause her mother any labor pains. All the children before, and those subsequent to Rose, caused her a great deal of pain in child-bearing. Rose, on the other hand, caused her mother a great deal of pain after she was born.
She was the recipient of God’s graces from an early age. Barely able to walk, she would be found lost in contemplation before the big crucifix in her mother’s room. At three years old, she endured surgery from an accident without crying at all. A heavy lid from a flour jar fell on her finger, causing a blood clot and great pain. The surgeon had to cut back her fingernail, and apply acid to the finger. All of this was done without anesthetic. The acid had to stay on the finger for several days. When she was complimented on her behavior, Rose commented on how much more Jesus had suffered.
Later, she was stricken with an excruciating earache. When asked if it hurt badly she stated, “Yes, but Our Lord’s Crown of Thorns must have hurt much more.”
During Rose’s recuperation period from the blood clot, her mother tried teaching her how to read, using secular material. It was impossible. The girl could not read anything. Oliva gave up in despair. She threw the book across the room and told little Rose to get out of her sight. Then her grandmother began to teach Rose from her prayer book. Sometime later, little Rose came out of her room with the prayer book, having read several pages from it. When Oliva asked her daughter who taught her to read and write, she replied, “I asked the Baby Jesus to teach me, Mama, to save you the work and He did.” Rather than being elated that her daughter could read and write, Oliva punished Rose for what she considered defiance. Rose took her punishment without a word of complaint.
In an effort to establish a truce with her own mother, Oliva allowed Rose’s grandmother, Isabel, to bring Rose to confession to whatever church she desired. When Rose became five years old, Isabel brought her to the Jesuit church. Rose immediately asked her new confessor if she could make a vow of Chastity. The priest was somewhat surprised, especially in view of the fact that she was only five years old, but after prayer and counsel with superiors, he allowed her to make the vow. It would be a problem for Rose in later years, when her mother wanted her to marry, but at this time, it seemed harmless to the priest, and to our little Saint, it was an important gift to give Our Lord Jesus.
Through a controversy which took place between the government and the Archbishop of Lima, the Lord moved Rose and her family from the Jesuit church to the church of St. Dominic, to which Rose became extremely attached. There was a special statue in this chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary. Many of the faithful of Lima flocked in time of need to petition favors of Our Lady. In this chapel, Rose had many encounters with the Mother of God, some of them actual apparitions, others inner locutions, and still others just down-home conversations with Our Lady.
At this particular time Rose was only six years old, but a thought pattern was established which would stay with the Saint all her life. Peru was in danger of revolution and civil war. All the people were praying for peace and an end to the crisis. Rose began, at this very early age, to pray for the people of the city, the people of the country, and for the officials of the government and the Church. Rose would offer this form of prayer for the rest of her life.