Wednesday’s People: Sts. Rose of Lima and Martin de Porres

by Melanie on October 4, 2017

in Catholicism, Nonfiction, Saints, Saints of the Americas, Spirituality, Wednesday's Woman

Note: I’m currently featuring women saints who had notable relationships with male saints–their sons, husbands, fathers, or colleagues in faith.

The Basics: Rose, born April 20, 1586, in Peru; died August 24, 1617, in Peru; feast day, August 23; canonized April 12, 1671, by Clement IX; Lay Dominican; mystic. Martin, born December 9, 1579, in Peru; died November 3, 1639, in Peru; feast day, November 3; canonized May 6, 1962, by John XXIII. Lay Dominican.

The Story: She was a romantic and mystic from an early age, the seventh of eleven children born into a family with prestige but little money. He was the product of a relationship between a Spanish nobleman and a freed slave of either African or Native American descent. One would think that Rose of Lima and Martin de Porres would have little in common, and yet, they did.

Rose saw her beauty as a distraction, for others and for herself, from the Lord. She resisted her parents’ efforts to marry her off, learning from the example of St. Catherine of Siena. She cut off her hair. She rubbed herself with peppers and lye when her beauty was praised. She learned that when she wore the wreath of roses her mother favored, she could engage in self-mortification by putting thorns on the under side. This sort of behavior would mark much of Rose’s short life. And yet, as a lay Dominican, she spent time in ministering to the less fortunate. She also dreamed of evangelizing to the indigenous people.

Martin, on the other hand, was trained as a barber/surgeon because his ethnicity prevented him from joining a religious order. Eventually, this humble man was able to become a lay Dominican himself, working in an infirmary and providing relief in ways that those around him considered miracles.

They were friends, this somewhat odd couple. And when Rose worried about the visions she received and about the times she spent in the spiritual desert, it was Martin to whom she turned. He reassured her she was a beloved daughter of God, and to remain obedient and faithful.

What We Can Learn from Rose and Martin: Different backgrounds needn’t keep us apart. Sometimes, the people who can provide us with the best spiritual guidance have walked a path far different from ours in the world’s view.

Wisdom from Rose: “Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase your love in my heart. ”

To Learn More About Rose: Take a look at the site devoted to the 400th anniversary of Rose of Lima’s death.

To Learn More About Other Women Saints and Blesseds: Come back next week, or consider buying my book, Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: