Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Life of St. Rose of Lima (completed!)

It is finished!

This book on the life of St. Rose of Lima was first published in 1671, the year of St. Rose's canonization. The quote is the last paragraph of the last chapter; it underscores a point that is as apropos today as it has ever been.

This project has been a tremendous blessing to me. May St. Rose bring you blessings as well.

The Brief of Clement IX, for the beatification of S. Rose, is dated 12th of February, 1668; and she was canonized three years later, 1671, by Clement X, who appointed the 30th of August for her feast. Thus solemnly has the Church of God set the seal of Her unerring approval upon that series of wonders, that endless chain of miracles, which, reaching from her cradle to her grave, make up the life of this American virgin. There was never a time and never a land, which and where it was more needful for the daughters of the Church to learn how to make for themselves a cloister in the world, than England and America in the present age; and it is precisely this lesson which the life of S. Rose conveys. Amidst so much that is false and hollow, heartless and unreal, how beautiful before Almighty God would be the child-like simplicity of this Virgin of the South, copied even faintly in the lives of our Catholic country-women! For it is this simplicity which was her fairest ornament: indeed, so completely child-like was she herself, and so child-like the wonders with which her Divine Spouse encircled her, that in reading her Life it seems hardly ever to strike us that she was any thing but a little girl. It is as though she grew no older, but remained still the baby, cradled in the arms of Jesus, as when the vermilion rose bloomed miraculously on her little face when three months old. Let us also thank Almighty God in the fervent simplicity of our faith for the seal His Church has set upon these authentic wonders; wonders not lost in dubious antiquity, but adequately proved in the face of modern criticism so short a time age; and remembering that this bold exhibition of the marvelous is by no less an authority that the Catholic Church presented to our veneration and our love, let us take it like awe-struck children, as a page from the lost chronicles of Eden, and strive to unlearn that bold timidity with which we have too often been inclined to court favor where we shall never get it, and to avoid sneers which are to us an heritage and vouchers of our truths, by smiling with the profane, and doubting with the skeptical. For one of the faithful to try to look as like an unbeliever as he can, is a sight which never won a soul to Christ, or gained for the Church the esteem of an opponent. Rose of Lima is now raised upon the altars of the Church by the decree of her canonization; she is a Catholic Saint; no sneer of man can wither the marvelous blooming of her leaves; but he will find a thorn who shall dare to handle roughly this sweet mysterious Rose which S. Dominic planted in the garden of his Master.

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