|Heiliga Rosa: Bitt fur Uns!|
When a parish celebrates its patron as we do,
that day is a feast of the highest degree;
that’s why we are using the Gloria and the Creed, and incense.
Rose is the first native-born saint of the Americas.
She died in 1617; the English landed in Virginia in 1607.
This reminds us that our Faith, and Catholic culture,
has deeper roots in this hemisphere than we realize.
Three other saints are associated with Lima, Peru: Saint Turibius--who confirmed Rose;
Saint John Macias, a lay Dominican brother who came to Peru as a missionary;
and of course, Saint Martin de Porres, another Dominican, my patron, whose statue is right here.
If we ever get on a high-horse about places in Central or South America,
thinking they are not important, we might ask: how many saints has Cincinnati produced?
Lima has produced at least four!
Saint Rose sought to grow in holiness and her family tried to discourage her.
They wanted her to marry; she wanted to be vowed to virginity.
There might be saints around us;
who wants to go down in history as an obstacle to someone becoming a saint?
Saint Rose’s mother was native to Peru, her father was Spanish--so she was mixed-race;
as was Martin de Porres.
St. Turibius, who I mentioned before,
was known as an advocate of the native peoples of South America.
We might remember that the natives of this land often suffered at the hands of European explorers; and sometimes people claim the Church didn’t care.
In fact, that the Church promptly canonized these saints of Peru is evidence to the contrary.
I don’t know why a Spanish-speaking saint of South America
was chosen to be patroness of a German-speaking parish in Cincinnati.
There’s something wonderful about the internationalism of our Faith;
we are one Body in Christ!
She lived to be 31--a short life! But a short life can be full of power,
especially when we seek God’s power.