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St. Rose of Lima, Patron Saint of Vanity and South America

St. Rose of Lima was born in Lima, Peru. From an early age, Rose had a deep desire to become a nun. She eventually joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, despite opposition from her family. Rose lived a life of asceticism and mortification, spending her days in fasting and prayer. Rose died at age thirty-one, and is the patron saint of embroiderers, gardeners, florists, those who suffer ridicule for their piety, and people who suffer family problems.

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St. Rose of Lima was a Peruvian saint. She was an extraordinarily pious child; even as she was just learning to walk, her parents noted her great interest in and devotion to holy cards, statues, and crucifixes. They and others saw this as a sign that the young girl had a special relationship with God. Rose wanted to learn how to read and write, but there was nobody who was free to help her. She, like other poor children, could not afford to go to school, and her parents were illiterate.

One day she announced to her parents: “Since no one has time to teach me things, I am going to ask Jesus to do it. He can do anything, can’t He?” The child yearned to read and write, and prayed to Jesus daily, begging Him to help her to achieve her dreams. Rose would beseech Jesus to help her with a prayer she made up herself: “Jesus, help me to know and to love you, and teach me to read and write.”

Because of this, the child was mocked by the street children in her home town. She was seen as an odd child by many.

One day, Rose announced to her mother that she knew how to read and write. She told her mother that it was the Child Jesus who had taught her. Her mother did not believe her at first, but nevertheless, Rose proved to her mother that she knew how to read by reading from a book about St. Catherine of Siena. The local parish priest and teacher tested her, and were amazed by the fact that this young girl who had never been to school could read and write to a very high standard.

The young Rose told the following remarkable story:
One day, after she had made her usual prayer to Jesus, she felt a beautiful breeze fan her. She recalled having a wonderful sensation, and saw an overflowing miraculous light. Then the Child Jesus appeared to her, beautiful and radiant. Rose stated that he was a beautiful boy and that she was not afraid, rather, she felt a great and pure love for the Child Jesus. Our Savior then drew forth a golden book and bade the young girl to read from it. She immediately could read. Jesus then drew forth a pen with paper and bade her write, and, miraculously, Rose could write. Then Jesus disappeared.

Rose dedicated her life to Jesus. She became a nun, and devoted herself to the care of the sick and the dying. In her infirmary, she had a little statute of Jesus that was widely believed to have miraculous powers. Rose was later canonized as a Saint after her death. St. Rose of Lima's feast day is August 23rd.