Who was St Rosa de Lima?

On August 30th Peru celebrates the day of St. Rosa de Lima, but….. who was St. Rosa and why is she so important in the Peruvian culture and tradition?

Isabel Flores de Oliva, known in the universal Church as St. Rosa de Lima, was born in Lima, Peru on April 30th and passed away on August 24th 1617.

Her character was peaceful and her priorities were always given to everything concerned with her Catholic faith.

Her Life

Santa Rosa was secular; she was not a cloistered nun as many people believe.

She lived at home with her parents as a Dominican tertiary using the Dominican habit. She spent half of the hours of the day to the manual work, weaving, embroidering and cultivating flowers in her garden to somewhat relieve the expenditure of her family. She also helped the poor and neediest people of Lima adapting a room in her home as a nursing.


Still alive, she had fame of holiness because of her tireless work for the poor and forgotten of Lima and the cleaning of her soul that she radiated to everyone. This explains that on her death, she was acclaimed and mourned by the entire city as “our holy, the mother of the poor of Lima”.

Her holiness in the midst of the world was the result of his intense spiritual life. If St. Rosa reached that perfection in charity toward the neighbor was because her spiritual life was very intense: the other half of her day was destined to a life of piety.

Her penances, fasts, and continued mortifications still surprises even today, as we wonder how a fragile girl was able to take for her such offers, and we respond that she was carried by the power of love to God.

Many anecdotes show that, when the media or human materials were not enough, God intervened in the ordinary life of Rosa to confirm her love and help.

After her Death

Knowing the news of her death, all Lima was shocked and wanted to see who already was cheered as “her holy.” According to files of the process of canonization, countless miraculous healings took place only with the contact with her blessed body or invoking her name.

Santa Rosa de Lima was the first Latin American to be canonized. In 1671, Pope Clement X declared her Saint and Patron of Lima, Peru, the Philippines and Latin America.

The Wishing Well

PozoStaRosaIt is said that St. Rosa threw into the well, the key of the padlock of a string that she put into her waist as mode of silicon, to do penance by the perpetual sinners.

Shortly after her death, as the number of miracles and graces  people obtained through her intercession started to grow, a larger number of people began to mail letters in that well, trusting that their protector would receive the heavenly correspondence.

Today, many people still throw their wish letters into the well, especially on Aug 30th when we celebrate her day. Do you want to send her a wish letter?

If you are in Lima, you can visit her house: Av. Tacna, 1st block

If you are not in Lima, you can send an e-mail to santarosa.correo@gmail.com or send a tweet using the hashtag #pozodesantarosa and the user @santarositadelima, the community manager will print your wish list and throw it to the well !!

I hope you liked the post, it is a short story of my culture and tradition. If you have any question, leave me a comment below.

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