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Born Isabel Flores y de Oliva in Lima, the capital city of Peru, her nickname, “Rose,” came from a childhood incident in which a household servant attested to having seen the child’s face turn into a mystical rose.

She took the name formally as her own, at her confirmation in 1597 by the saintly Archbishop of Lima, Turibio de Mogrovejo.

Remarkable, even as a child, for her great reverence and love for all that related to God, she developed an intense devotion to the Infant Jesus and His Holy Mother, and gave herself up to a life of prayer and mortification. Industrious and adept, she became very proficient in the arts of sewing, embroidery and lace-making, and used her needle to help support her home and family, and as a means to assist the many poor who came to depend on her generous alms.

In imitation of St. Catherine, whom she took as a saintly role model, she fasted three times a week, wore rough clothing, and roughened her face and hands to combat the temptations to vanity. She spent hours on her knees before the Blessed Sacrament and contrary to the usual practice of the time, was a daily communicant.

Assailed by tremendous temptations against the Faith and the virtue of purity, which caused her excruciating agony of mind and desolation of soul, she multiplied her mortifications and prayers, and with her confessor’s approval, took a vow of virginity.

In this last resolve, Rose had to combat the opposition of her parents, who wished her to marry. The battle of wills continued for ten years until, won over by her patience and prayer, they gave their consent to her decision.

At the age of twenty, Rose received the habit of St. Dominic as a tertiary Dominican. From that moment onwards, the severity and variety of her mortifications redoubled.

With her brother’s help, she built herself a little cell from sun-dried bricks in the garden behind their home. Here she would retire at night for solitude and prayer and take whatever rest she permitted her body on a bed of broken glass and pottery, rough stones and thorns. She took to wearing an iron chain around her waist and a metal-spiked crown concealed about her head. Entire days without food would be followed by sleepless nights spent in prayer. During her suffering, Our Lord fortified her with the knowledge of His presence and consoled her with His love, frequently revealing Himself to her and drawing her soul into ecstasies that lasted for hours.

During these sublime embraces with God, she offered Him all her penances and mortifications in reparation for the offences against His Divine Majesty, for the sins of idolatry, for the conversion of sinners, and for the souls in Purgatory.

During her last illness, her constant prayer was "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart.” Rose died in 1617 at the age of thirty-one years.

She was beatified by Clement IX in 1667 and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, thus becoming the first American-born saint.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for September 23, 2019

In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine wil...

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September 23

 

In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine will.
Adore and bless it,
especially in the things which are the hardest for you.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Offering himself as a victim for the end of the war, Padre P...

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St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Francesco was born in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. His parents, Grazio Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio, were peasant farmers, but they recognized their son was close to God. When he was only five years old, he solemnly consecrated himself to Jesus. It is said he often spoke with Our Lord, Our Lady and his guardian angel, who defended him against attacks by the devil. He joined the Capuchin Franciscans at the age of fifteen, and took the name Pio with his religious vows. After seven years of study he was ordained to the priesthood in 1910.

During the same month he was ordained, Padre Pio was praying in the chapel when Our Lord and His Blessed Mother appeared and gave him the Stigmata. However, the wounds soon faded and then disappeared. “I do want to suffer, even to die of suffering,” Padre Pio told Our Lady, “but all in secret." Soon after, he experienced the first of his spiritual ecstasies.

Pio was in the military for a short time, but was discharged due to poor health. Upon his return to the monastery, he became a spiritual director. He had five rules for spiritual growth: weekly confession, daily Communion, spiritual reading, meditation, and examination of conscience. He often advised, "Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry."

In July of 1918, Padre Pio received the visible Stigmata, the five wounds of Christ (hands, feet and side), after offering himself as a victim for the end of the war. By 1933, the holy priest was recognized by the Church and by 1934 had attracted thousands of pilgrims that attended his masses and frequented his confessional.

On September 23, 1968, Padre Pio said his final Mass, renewed his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and died in his cell after suffering from grave physical decline. Before his death, Padre Pio orchestrated and oversaw the building of the “House for the Alleviation of Suffering,” a 350-bed medical and religious center.

He was canonized on June 16, 2002 by Pope John Paul II. An estimated 300,000 people attended the canonization ceremony.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs F...

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The Power of a Picture

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. “This is a picture of Her.” The woman gasped. “I know that picture! It inspired a conversion.” She then asked excitedly, “Do you have a minute to hear the story?” 

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As Mr. Ferraz listened, he learned that the woman, Maria Vegra, had a 22-year old son who had recently passed away after three weeks in the hospital due to a fatal injury received in a car accident. While in the hospital, a priest would visit him every day to administer Holy Communion. The priest consistently offered the sacrament to the neighboring patient of Maria’s son, another young man who was also in critical condition. The young man would say, “No. I don’t believe in God.” But the priest continued to offer salvation. “Let me hear your confession and give you Holy Communion and Last Rights,” the priest said, “it will save your soul and get you to heaven.” Time after time, the young man stubbornly refused.

During the weeks of hospitalization and fruitless medical treatments, Maria had taken her son a picture of Our Lady of Fatima a friend had given her from an America Needs Fatima mailing.

She knew Our Lady’s watchful gaze would give her son peace in his last days. The day after she placed Our Lady’s picture at the foot of her son’s bed, she heard the voice of his stubborn neighbor: “please,” he said, “bring the picture closer to me. I want to look at the Lady.” 

Surprised but willing, Maria placed the picture in the middle of the two suffering men. 

After three days of letting the nearby picture of Our Lady touch his heart as he gazed into Her eyes, the suffering patient relented. “Please,” he called out, “bring me the priest. I want to receive the sacraments.”

A few days later, the young man died a Catholic. With a simple picture of Our Lady of Fatima, God touched a heart and saved a soul. 

 By Catherine Ferdinand

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“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. 

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