St. Rose of Lima Day Celebrations and History

Saint Rose de Lima

Saint Rose of Lima Day Celebrations

August 30th is a national holiday in Peru that commemorates Saint Rose of Lima who died on August 24th 1617. Rose of Lima is the patron saint of peru and the indigenous natives of Latin America.  

On this day there is a religious procession that takes place from the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, where the Saint’s remains are kept, all the way to the Cathedral Basilica of Lima. Visiting the Church and Sanctuary of St. Rose de Lima is also a popular activity to do on this day. 

St. Rose of lima religious parade

A popular tradition on this day of celebration is to throw cards with wishes written on them into the well outside of the Shrine of Saint Rose de Lima, in commemoration of keys to a heavy chain she tied around her waist that she threw into the well many years before. 

Finally, the celebrations are wrapped up with fireworks that light up the city skyline!

St. Rose of Lima Day Firework celebrations 

History of St. Rose of Lima Day

Saint Rose of Lima was born on April 20th 1586 in Lima, Peru and was one of 13 children. Her real name was Isabel, but she was such a beautiful baby with rosy cheeks, that she quickly became known as “Rose.”

Rose showed great devotion to god from an early age and her parents hoped her good looks would enable her to marry well to help support the family and escape poverty. However, Rose decided to follow a religious life dedicating herself to god. 

Since Rose was too poor to join a monastery, she made money to support her family and her charity work by selling needlework and flowers. She would also look after the sick and those in need in Lima by bringing them to her cottage to feed and care for them.

The Dominican Order noticed Rose’s great efforts and allowed her to join without any payment. Her efforts were soon noticed by the Dominican Order who allowed her to join without any payment. While she continued to serve the people of Lima, Rose also practiced some extreme forms of devotion such as only eating bread and water. 

Saint Rosa de Lima

Unfortunately, Rose passed away at the age of 31 and when she died, her funeral was forced to be delayed by two days because so many people showed up to pay their respects. In 1667, 50 years after her passing, Rose was beatified as Saint Rose de Lima, making her the first person born in the Americas to become a saint. 

Science her beatification, in 1729, the Roman Catholic calendar added her feast day as August 30th, but in 1969, revisions to the calendar allocated her feast day as August 23rd. However, Peru and most other Latin American countries still celebrate the original date. 

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