The first person born in the Americas to be canonized, Isabel de Flores y del Olivia (1586 – 1617) was the daughter of Spanish parents in Peru. At a young age she had a vision of Mary, who called her the “Rose of Saint Mary”: thus, she is known as Rose of Lima. When she was twelve, she decided to devote her life to God. Believing that God had made her a “little” person, she did what she considered “little” things. As a Dominican tertiary, she offered all her small acts of penance for the good of souls in the New World. Rose also had many visions; in one she wore a crown of red roses, mirroring Christ’s crown of thorns. Rose of Lima is the patroness of the Americas.
Today, 23 August, is her feast day and this painting of the saint is one of the earliest portraits of her, and thus considered a good likeness. It is in the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.
Photo & Description by: Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.