St Rose of Lima

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The first saint of the New World, Saint Rose is the patron of South America and the Philippines.

She was born into a moderately wealthy Spanish family in Lima, Peru in 1586. The family lost everything everything when their business failed. Rose worked in the garden all day and sewed at night to help them.

Her parents wanted her to marry, but she refused for ten years. They also would not allow her to let her enter a convent, so out of obedience she continued her life of penance and solitude at home, as a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, taking as her model St Catherine of Siena.

Rose is said to have radiated love to all who came to visit her. She was known for her great beauty and gentle nature.

During the last few years of her life, Rose set up a room in the house where she cared for homeless children, the elderly, and the sick.

Rose suffered poor health herself and died at the age of 31. The city turned out for her funeral. Prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.

She was canonised in 1631.

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