About St. Rose of Lima
Brief History of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Council Grove, KS:
The Catholic parish of St. Rose of Lima in Council Grove, Kansas dates back to the year 1541, when Father Juan Padilla, Franciscan priest, accompanied Coronado to the area now known as Kansas, looking for cities of gold. Father Padilla became a martyr for his faith, and a monument still stands (two miles southwest of Council Grove) in the middle of the Flint Hills grassland in his memory.
St. Rose of Lima was born in 1586 and died in 1617 in Lima, Peru, and is the patroness of Latin American and the Philippines. St. Rose’s feast day is August 23rd.
Something interesting about St. Rose is that her birth name was actually Isabel, but she was such a beautiful baby that her family called her Rose, and the name stuck with her throughout her life. Her beauty is also the reason why she’s often pictured with a crown of roses on her head, because her mother once placed this wreath of flowers on Rose to show off her beauty to her friends. Although her family called her Rose and made a show of her beauty, Rose had no desire to be admired; her humble heart had been given to Jesus. Because of her humility, she placed a long pin in her wreath and pierced her head, so deeply that she had a hard time getting the wreath off afterwards. Rose also didn’t want her beauty to attract or tempt anyone, so she rubbed her face with peppers until it became blistered, so she would be unattractive to others.
St. Rose was known as a hard worker who strived to obey and please others around her. Many people in her life tried to get her to become married but she would not give in to their pressure. Another sign of her true inner beauty was that her eyes would truly glisten and sparkle when she talked about the Lord, because her love for Him was so deep and honest. Even in hard times of loneliness and sadness, Rose cheerfully surrendered her troubles to the Lord by praying, “Lord, increase my sufferings and with them increase Your love in my heart.”
Other fun facts about St. Rose:
She was the first saint born in the Americas.
She was so beautiful that people would stop and stare at her when she walked by.
She emulated St. Catherine of Siena by fasting three times a week, and eventually permanently abstained from eating meat.
Rose is the patron of gardeners and florists.
Sources: American Catholic Saint Encyclopedia, Catholic Today newsletter