Saturday, April 14, 2012

Scenes from the "época dorada de la santidad"

Teófilo Castillo Guas
 1857 –  1922
Los funerales de Santa Rosa (The Funeral  of St Rose of Lima) (1918)
Oil on canvas
Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru

Anonymous from The Cusco School
Saint Rose of Lima with the Child Jesus [detail]
 c 1680 - 1700
Oil on canvas
Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru

Isabella Flores y de Oliva, known as  St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617) was fortunate to have lived in Lima  in the “época dorada de la santidad”, the Golden Age of Sanctity. 

She was confirmed as a girl of thirteen by Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo. Archbishop of Lima (1538 - 23 March 1606).

She heard preaching by Saint  Francisco Solano and by Saint Juan Masías. She knew Saint  Martín de Porres (1579-1639) , and Saint Juan Masías (1585-1645),  - all three lived in Lima at the same time

She died on August 24, 1617, at the very young age of 31

Her funeral was held in the cathedral, attended by all the public authorities of Lima The then  archbishop himself gave her eulogy

From an early age her role model was Saint Catherine of Siena, T.O.S.D, (25 March 1347 – 29 April 1380), a tertiary of the Dominican Order later after canonisation to be declared a Doctor of the Church

Like St Catherine, she became and died a tertiary Like her role model, she adopted the idea of living in the interior cell in union with Christ

Her cult transcended all classes and races

In 1671 St Rose was declared the first canonized native saint of the Americas, a confirmation and symbol that  Christianity had taken root into American soil

Shortly after this she was declared Patron Saint of Peru in 1669, and then of the entire New World including the Philippines in 1670 

Her biographer records a few of her notable sayings:

"If human beings knew what it is to live in grace, no suffering would frighten them and they would gladly suffer any hardship, for grace is the fruit of patience".  
"Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven" 
"When we serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbours, because in them we serve Jesus"  
P. Hansen, Vita mirabilis (Louvain, 1668)

Her last recorded words were:
"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, be with me always"