September 4

Commemoration of the holy Virgin Saint Rose of Viterbo


        Today is a commemoration of Saint Rose of Viterbo. It is especially a Franciscan feast and we have found in the OFM annals the following: Almighty God did marvelous things in the soul of St. Rose. It appears that her parents gave her that name by divine inspiration, for it was symbolic of her entire career. As long as she lived, she bloomed like a sweet-scented rose in the garden of the Church, and in full bloom as she transplanted to Paradise. Before she was able to speak, Rose attempted to pronounce the sweet names of Jesus and Mary; and as soon as she had learned to walk, she asked to be taken to church and to other retired and quiet places to pray. When religious discourses were given, she would listen with great attention.

        When Rose was only 3 years old, God showed how pleased He was with her in a most wonderful way. One of her maternal aunts died. The family were standing around the bier weeping aloud. Deeply moved by the sorrow of her relatives, little Rose went to the coffin, raised her eyes to heaven, and prayed silently. Then she placed her little hand on the body of her deceased aunt and called her by name. The dead woman immediately opened her eyes and reached out to embrace her little niece, who had raised her to life again.

        The child entertained a great compassion for the poor; she always tried to save some food to give to the poor. One day when she left the house with some bread in her apron, she met her father, who asked her in curt fashion what she was carrying off now. The affrighted child opened her apron and fragrant roses were found in it. When she was 7 years old, Rose retired to a little cell in her father's house. There she spent almost all her time in contemplation and in practicing rigorous penance. She prayed much for the conversion of sinners. Meanwhile our dear Lord was preparing her for an extraordinary mission.

        Rose was not yet 10 years old when the Blessed Mother of God instructed her to join the Third Order of St. Francis. Shortly after, our Lord appeared to her on the Cross, wearing the crown of thorns on His head and bleeding profusely from all His wounds. Rose, aghast at the sight, called out: "O my Lord, who has reduced Thee to this state?" Our Lord replied, "My love, my deep love for men has done this." "But," asked Rose, "who has so pierced and torn Thee?" "The sins of men have done it," was our Lord's answer. "Sin, sin!" cried the saint, and she scourged herself to make atonement for the sins of the world.

        By divine inspiration, Rose then took a cross in her hand and went up and down the streets and public squares of her city telling people of the terrible tortures our Lord suffered and of the heinousness of sin. Every now and then she would emerge from her solitude to entreat the people to do penance.

        The town of Viterbo, which belonged to the Papal States, had revolted against the authority of the pope. Disregard for religion and moral degradation were the order of the day. But the sermons of this little missionary had marvelous results. the people came in crowds to hear her. The stone on which she stood was seen to rise in the air, and she was sustained there by a miracle while burning words issued from her lips. The greater part of the citizenry had already resolved to do penance and to return to the legitimate papal allegiance when Rose and her parents were repelled by the civil authorities.

        The result was that she now had a wider field of activity. At Soriano and later at Vitorchiano, her preaching had the same blessed results. In the latter place, a sorceress had done much harm among the inhabitants. Fearing that after her departure this woman would undo the good effected there, Rose was desirous of her conversion. Her initial efforts failed. Then our saint had an immense pile of wood prepared in the public square; fire was set to it, and Rose stepped into the fire and mounted to the top of the pile. She remained untouched for three hours in the midst of the flames, singing the praises of God. The sorceress now cast herself at Rose's feet and was sincerely converted.

        Meanwhile the rightful,authority of the pope had been re-established at Viterbo, and Rose could return. She was now 15 years old and anxious to enter the convent of the Poor Clares. As she had no dowry, she could not be admitted. "Well," said Rose, "you will not receive me while I am alive, but you will receive me after I am dead." She and several companions repaired to a secluded dwelling, where they intended to live as a community. The ecclesiastical authorities, however, did not approve of the plan, and Rose returned home. She died two years later, filled with the joyous desire of being united with her God.

        Two and a half years after her death she appeared three times to Pope Alexander IV, who was in Viterbo at the time, told him to have her body removed to the convent of the Poor Clares. When this was done, her body was found incorrupt; and it has remained in that condition to this day. Miracles are constantly occurring at her tomb. Pope Callistus III canonized her in 1457.

        Consider the marvelous operations of God in St. Rose. Entire cities that had fallen away from God and the Church and about whose conversion the greatest missionaries might have doubted, were won to a change of heart by means of a child, and a girl at that. It has often pleased God to reveal His might and wisdom by means of lowly and unimportant creatures. Thus at Milan in a trying period, when it seemed impossible to come to a decision regarding the choice of a bishop, an infant pointed out St. Ambrose as the chosen bishop; and his life story shows that none could have governed the Church at Milan in a more excellent manner. "But the foolish things of the world has God chosen, that He may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world has God chosen, that He may confound the strong. That no flesh shall glory in his sight. But that he who glories, may glory in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:27; 29; 31).

      We want to thank the Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for expediting these resources of the Propers. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945


COLLECT
Commemoration of St. Rose of Viterbo
Orémus. Honórum ómnium largítor, omnípotens Deus, qui beátam Rosam, Coeléstis grátiæ rore prævéntam, virginitátis et patiéntiæ decóre floréscere voluísti: da nobis fámulis tuis; ut in odórem suavitátis ejus curréntes, Christi bonus odor éfflci mereámur: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Commemoration of St. Rose of Viterbo
Let us pray. Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, Who didst will that blessed Rose, imbued with the dew of heavenly grace, should bloom with the beauty of virginity and patience, grant unto us, Thy servants, that, following the fragrance of her virtues, we may deserve to become a sweet odor of Christ, Who with Thee livest and reignest, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
Forever and ever.
R.Amen.

SECRET
Commemoration of St. Rose of Viterbo
Accépta tibi sit, Dómine, sacráte plebis oblátio pro tuórum honóre sanctórum: quorum se méritis, de tribulatióne percepísse cognóscit auxílium. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Commemoration of St. Rose of Viterbo
May the offering of Thy consecrated people be accepted by Thee, O Lord, in honor of Thy saints, by whose merits it knoweth that it hath received aid in time of trouble. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
For ever and ever.
R. Amen.

POSTCOMMUNION
Commemoration of St. Rose of Viterbo
Oremus. Satiásti, Dómine, famíliam tuam munéribus sacris: ejus, quæsumus, semper interventióne nos réfove, cujus solémnia celebrámus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Commemoration of St. Rose of Viterbo
Let us pray. Thou hast filled Thy household, O Lord, with sacred gifts; ever comfort us, we beseech Thee, through her intercession whose festival we celebrate. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
For ever and ever.
R. Amen.
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Commemoration of the holy virgin St. Rose of Viterbo