Rose of Lima
Born in 1586 in Peru, Isabel de Flores was nicknamed Rose because of her beauty. She admired Catherine of Siena and even as an adolescent practiced acts of penance and self-denial; Rose was determined to give herself to God. When suitors came seeking marriage, she scarred her face with lime and pepper so no one would want her and she could belong to God alone. When she was twenty she joined the Third Order of Dominic, moved to a tiny hut on her parents' property, and devoted herself to prayer. She wore a crown of thorns to remind her of Christ's suffering.
Besides her deep prayer life, Rose performed acts of mercy, reaching out to Indians, slaves, and the poor of Lima. After her sisters married and left the family home, she used their bedrooms as an infirmary. Word of her goodness spread. When she died at age thirty-one, thousands of people came to pay respects.
Rose of Lima was the first canonized saint from the Americas and is a patron saint of Peru and all of Latin America.
Image is from Museo Lazaro Galdiano, Madrid.