New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Feast of St. Rose of Lima - 23rd August 2008

Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Rose of Lima. She is one of the lesser known saints of the Church. Let us read the commentary of Dr. Plinio about this saint and incorporate some of her virtues during our march to the Father's kingdom.

St. Rose of Lima – August 30

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Biographical selection:

Some half century after the conquest of America by the Spaniards, the city of Lima, founded at the foot of the Andes Mountains as the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru, was suffering so great a corruption of customs that St. Francis Solanus threatened it with divine chastisements, as the Prophet Jonah threatened Nineveh. Divine Mercy, however, was already acting in the soul of a child capable of making the necessary expiation.

Rose of Lima, born on April 20, 1586, grew under the protection of Divine Goodness. She took the third order habit of St. Dominic at age 20, offering constant prayer and sacrifices in her small oratory in the family garden. She was only 31 years of age when, on the evening of St. Bartholomew’s feast (August 24) in 1617, she cried out: “The Spouse is here!” and she delivered her soul to God.

Zeal for the cause of God consumed this virgin. When she turned her eyes to the unfaithful nations of South America, she would weep and suffer torments of soul. She often counseled priests and monks to go with all haste to the aid of those nations. Once, she thought of adopting a boy to raise him and later direct him to the missions, but her death prevented the realization of that wish.

One time a Dutch fleet of Protestant heretics stopped outside Lima’s harbor. The alarm was raised in the city to prepare for an invasion. Rose ran to the Church of St. Dominic and like a warrior placed herself before the Tabernacle in order to protect Our Lord with her life. God, however, was satisfied with that manifestation of her dedication. The enemy fleet left without damaging the city.

Not just in Lima, but in all Peru and Latin America, miracles of conversion and countless graces were received through the intercession of that humble virgin, unknown until her death. The Sovereign Pontiff testified that since the discovery of Peru, no missionary had ever produced such a universal spirit of penance.

The young woman who prayed and suffered amidst the general corruption of her city desired to live in silence and obscurity. Her action after death, however, made her the Patron Saint of Peru, and Pope Clement X extended her protection to all of America, the Philippine Islands and India.

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

These facts from the life of St. Rose of Lima allow us to see the condition of Latin America at that time. In Brazil as well as Spanish America, the coming of the Iberians produced a very dangerous moral trauma. Those men who came to the New World were moved by a thirst for adventure. Arriving here, they found an exuberant tropical flora and a weather that favored lust and nudity. Most of them succumbed to a life of immorality and complete vulgarity. This brought the new society to a very low level.

St. Rose of Lima understood that unless there was a strong reaction assisted by grace, the plans of Divine Providence in bringing the Iberians to Latin America would be frustrated. The plan was to make those Indian peoples Catholic, and form an immense Catholic bloc extending from Mexico to the south of Argentina and Chile.

In that dire moral situation, God called, not a great preacher to convert those Iberians and Indians, but a person with a universal vocation to change the lives of them all. This person was a young woman, St. Rose of Lima. Through her penances, sufferings, and prayers she accomplished in the realm of the Communion of Saints what was needed to save not only her country, but others. Her sanctity influenced all Latin America and worked countless miracles and conversions. Both during her life and after her death, she spread the spirit of penance and mortification, a very difficult thing for people to accept.

With this, she halted in good measure the general corruption of customs, and vaccinated those peoples against the spirit of the Revolution.

We see what a single soul can do by delivering herself entirely to Our Lord and Our Lady, renouncing all the advantages and comforts the world can give and delivering herself to penance and the Divine Mercy. If one of us would decide to be a saint, an unspeakable good could be done.

This should encourage us to ask Our Lady and St. Rose of Lima for this grace. Let us ask St. Rose of Lima, who did so much good for our Continent to make Latin America a true Catholic Continent so it can accomplish its mission of providing faithful peoples for the Reign of Mary.

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