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Saint Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

for August 23

Saint Rose was born in Lima, Peru, on April 20, 1586. She was given the name Isabel, but nicknamed Rose because of her great beauty. However, Rose did not want people to admire her beauty, because it might lead to temptation. To make herself less attractive, she rubbed lime and pepper on her face until it blistered. She also performed strict acts of penance, such as wearing a silver circlet on her head studded inside with sharp points. Even though she worked hard to support her poor family, she refused to marry because of her great love for Jesus. Because of Rose's love for Jesus she was often tempted by the devil, and at times she felt great loneliness and separation from God. Even though she sometimes felt this way, she offered all of her sadness and suffering up to God. She died at the age of 24, and was the first canonized saint of the New World. She is the patron saint of Latin America and the Philippines.

Read more about Saint Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

Image via Wikipedia

Reflection

Saint Rose reminds Christians that, although outward beauty may be a God-given blessing that points towards the glory of God, it is infinitely less important than one's inward virtue and dedication to God. Do you sometimes focus too much on your outward appearance and not enough on your inward beauty? Do you sometimes feel bad about the way you look? Know that God only cares about your love and compassion for him and others. If you love God and others, then to God and others you are a stunningly beautiful and handsome person.

Prayer

Dear God, please help me to know that it is not my outward appearance that matters, but how I treat myself, others, and you. Let your love transform me and let me accept myself as I am, as one created to love you and be loved by you.