Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Saint Rose of Viterbo

Rose was born in Viterbo, in Italy. During that time Emperor Frederick had conquered land that belonged to the Church. Rose's special mission as a teenager was to make the people of her own city and nearby cities remain faithful to the Holy Father the Pope. And this she did very well.

When she was eight years old, Rose was very sick and our Blessed Mother appeared to her and told her that she should wear the habit (uniform) of Saint Francis. Our Lady also told Rose to set a good example by her words and actions. Slowly Rose became strong and healthy again.

She began to think more and more about how much Jesus suffered for us and how much we had hurt him because of our sins. She prayed and made sacrifices to show Jesus how much she loved him.

Later on, this brave girl began to preach in the streets of the city. She told people not to agree with the emperor who had taken land from the Church. So many people listened to her advice that Rose's father became frightened. He told her he would beat her if she did not stop preaching. She was only thirteen years old, but she answered gently, "If Jesus was willing to be beaten for me, I can be beaten for him. I must do what Jesus has told me to do, and I will not disobey him."

For two more years Rose preached with such success that the enemies of the pope wanted to kill her. In the end, the emperor sent Rose and her parents out of the city. But Rose said that the emperor was going to die soon and that is exactly what happened.

When they returned to Viterbo, Rose was not allowed to become a nun, so she returned to her own home. There she died in 1252, when she was only seventeen. Her body is preserved and venerated in Viterbo.

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