Rose of Lima

A brief biography.

Rose (Santa Maria) of Lima, Spanish Santa Rosa de Lima, original name Isabel de Flores y de Oliva, is born April 20/30 1586, in the S. Dominic Street in Lima, child of Gaspar Flores from Puerto Rico and Maria de Oliva from Huáuco, Perú. Born into a wealthy family, Rose (the name by which she was always known) was drawn to penitential practices and a spiritual life, which was opposed by her mother, who wanted her to marry. The struggle between them lasted 10 years, during which time Rose made a perpetual vow of virginity, taking St. Catherine of Siena as her model.
In 1606 her mother relented and allowed Rose to become a Dominican 
sister of the Third Order (August 30, 1606).  Rose chose strict enclosure and contemplation and withdrew to the seclusion of a hut in the family garden in Lima, where she endured a life of severe austerity: she wore a crown of thorns, practiced fasting, slept on a bed of broken glass and potsherds, and experienced numerous visions, particularly of the devil. Every day she visited the church of Santo Domingo of the Dominican priory Santa Maria del Rosario and frequently spoke she with her confessors Juan de Lorenzana, O.P. and Pedro de Loayza, O.P. Only in the last three years of her life did she leave her seclusion.

She died Aug. 24, 1617, in the house of her friends Gonzalo de la Maza and María Uzátegui in Lima.  Her funeral in the church Santo Domingo was an occasion of public honour, and many miracles were said to have occurred after her death.


The Peruan, Dominican Anthony Gonzalez of Acuña (ca.1600-22.02.1682), professor of theology in Lima, was zealous for the beatification of Rose of Lima, pronounced by pope Clement  IX on 15 April 1668, and declared patron of Lima.
Pope Clement X declared her patron of all South America, the Indies, the Philippines 11 April 1671, and canonized her 12 April 1671. She is the first person born in the Western Hemisphere to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

Perca, O.P., Guillermo Alvarez: Historia de la Orden Dominicana en el Perú.

Siglos XVI-XVIII. Lima 1997, p. 218-231.


Fourth century of the birthday (20.04.1586) of Rose of Lima
with her crown of roses. Painting by Hector A.Viola.


Argentina 1986, Mi 1846, Sc 1576

Postmark Buenos Aires 13.12.1986






Chapel of Sinnt Rose of Lima in Purmamarca, built in 1648.
On the stamp also the carnival procession.


Argentina 2004, Mi 2878, Sc 2273 b.






Rose of Lima, statue on the façade, 1670, of the the Dominic
an basilica minor ad Sactam Mariam Rotondam, Viernna.

Austria 1966, Mi 1202, Sc 757.







Stamp in memory of the fourth centenary of the birth of Rose of Lima,
April, 1586. This statue is preserved in the sanctuary at  Pelequén,
Chile. A young Indian soldier had this statue in his uniform during the 
war between the allied armies of Perú and Bolivia (1879-1883)
the Spanish troops.


Chile 1986, Mi 1129, Sc 718. Postmark Lima 30.4.1986.





Statue of Rose of Lima by Legarda, 18th century.


Ecuador 1972, Mi 1561.(Bl 58); Sc C497.








The statue of Rose of Lima is the 24th statue
at the left on the colonnade at Rome.


Equatorial Guinea 1974, Bl 105; Sc 7449.








The coat of arms of the district Santa Rosa, at the south of Guatemala-City


 Guatemala 1979, Mi 1159, Sc C710.








The passenger-ship 'Santa Rosa' of the Dutch fleet.


Netherlands Antilles 1967, Mi 177, Sc 311.





he Rose Hospital founded by J.B.A.Gijlswijk, O.P. and sister Regina Egelie, O.P. in 1910 in Philipsburg on Saint Maarten. The stamp shows the hospital in 1990.


Netherlands Antilles 1990, Mi 686, Sc 629.






The Jesuits built in Paraguay for the Indians a reduction with a church, dedicated to Saint Rose of Lima. The church was destroyed by fire in 1833. The tower, seven square meters, is named the 'Tower of Rosa'.


 Paraguay 1955, Mi 740, Sc C228.







Rose of Lima with the crown of roses.

Painting by the Peruan Francisco Laso (1823-1869), after the portrait,
presented by María Oliva, mother of Rose, preserved
in the monastery
of Saint Catharine of Siena in Lim


Peru 1936, Mi 357, Sc C39.






Portrait (33,5x25 cm) by the Florentine painter Carlo Dolci (1616-1686),
painted on April 15, 1937 on the date and in the year of the beatification
of Rose of Lima.


Peru 1937, Mi tax 28, Sc RA28.








Centenary of Peruvian postage stamps 1857-1957.

Shield of Lima containing stamps, among them on the third line
Rose of Lima, Peru
1937, tax.28, see above.


Peru 1957, Mi 564, Sc C140.






Head of Rose of Lima (1617); detail of the painting by the Spanish artist Angelino Medoro on the day of Rose’s dead (24.08.1617), preserved in the monastery Santa Rosa de los Padres, Lima.


Peru 1967, Mi 683, Sc C213.







Rose of Lima by the Italian painter Carlo Maratta (1625-1713),
preserved in the Collegium Malatesta de Sayón, Lima.



Peru 1967, Mi 684, Sc C214.







Rose of Lima by unknown artist of the school of Quito, 17th century,
preserved in the Osma-Museum, Baranco, Lima.


Peru 1967, Mi 685, Sc C215.








Stamp in memory of the 300th year of the canonization of Rose of Lima. Painting by the Peruan artist Francisco Laso (1586-1617), preserved
in the Pinacoteca Municipal at Lima.


Peru 1971, Mi 792, Sc 542. Postmark 1971.







Rose of Lima. Painting by Daniel Hernandez in the

chapel of the presidential palace, Lima.


Peru 1986, Mi 1321, Sc 867.  Postmark Lima 1986.
                  Rose of Lima with Christchild.







Peru 1988. Postmark Lima 30.8.1988.







Painting of Rose of Lima with in the background the cloister of the monastery of Saint Catharine of Siena in Lima.



Peru 2004, Mi 1877, Sc 1374.




Church dedicated to Rose of Lima in Arima on the island Trinidad.


Trinidad and Tobago 1988, Mi 567. Sc 480.







In the Capilla de Rosa de Lima, Caracas, the treaty was signed
for the independence of Venezuela from Spain on July 5, 1811.


Venezuela 1962, Mi 1455A; Sc 814.






The Santuario de Sta. Rosa in Lima, is crowded every 30th of August, her day, by thousands
of faithful followers who write letters (in search of a miracle) and throw them in the old well.

There is a garden with an hermitage built by her (17th century), where she staid for praying, self-punishment and meditation. There are also some relics and rooms from what it was her original house, near the church Santo Domingo.

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