By Rems Noquiao
On August 23, Wednesday, the entire Philippines commemorates its secondary patroness, St. Rose of Lima.
Historians remember St. Rose of Lima for her piety and chastity. Born in 1586 in Lima, Peru to Spanish colonists, and named Isabel Flores de Olivia, she was exceptionally beautiful.
Her beauty was so great that she was nicknamed "Rose," a name that remains with her to this day. According to legend, a servant had a vision where her face turned into a rose. At her confirmation in 1597, she officially took the name of Rose.
From an early age, Rose wanted to become a nun. She often prayed and fasted in secret. She performed secret penances, some of which were painful and severe. She performed daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and took daily communion.
As a young woman, her beauty began to attract suitors. To deter these men, St. Rose marred her face, rubbing it with pepper to make it blister. She cropped her hair short.
Her parents opposed her plan to take a vow of chastity. This resulted in a clash of wills, because her parents wanted her to marry. Her father eventually relented and gave her a room to herself.
St. Rose kept herself cloistered in her room, spending long periods in prayer. It was said she slept only two hours per night so as to have more time for prayer.
During difficult times, have we bent our knees for prayer just like St. Rose? Let us pray:
Help me to remember what is really important: that I am Your child You are my Father You love me for who I am and how I live not what I look like or what I own. Let me praise You Who sees into my heart, Who is always with me and Who eases my suffering. St. Rose of Lima, pray for us! Amen.