ST. ROSALIA was daughter of a noble family descended from Charlemagne. She was born at Palermo in Sicily, and despising in her youth worldly vanities, made herself an abode in a cave on Mount Pelegrino, three miles from Palermo. There she completed the sacrifice of her heart to God by austere penance and manual labor, sanctified by assiduous prayer and the constant union of her soul with God. She died in 1160. Her body was found buried in a grotto under the mountain, in the year of the jubilee, 1625, under Pope Urban VIII., and was translated into the metropolitan church of Palermo, of which she was chosen a patroness. To her patronage that island ascribes the ceasing of a grievous pestilence at the same time.
ST. ROSE OF VITERBO, who is honored on this same day, was born in the spring of 1240, a time when Frederick II, was oppressing the Church and many were faithless to the Holy See. The infant at once seemed filled with grace; with tottering steps she sought Jesus in His tabernacle, she knelt before sacred images, she listened to pious talk, retaining all she heard, and this when she was scarcely three years old. One coarse habit covered her flesh; fasts and disciplines were her delight. To defend the Church’s rights was her burning wish, and for this she received her mission from the Mother of God, who gave her the Franciscan habit, with the command to go forth and preach.
When hardly ten years old, Rose went down to the public square at Viterbo, Italy, called upon the inhabitants to be faithful to the Sovereign Pontiff, and vehemently denounced all his opponents. So great was the power of her word, and of the miracles which accompanied it, that the Imperial party, in fear and anger, drove her from the city, but she continued to preach till Innocent IV. was brought back in triumph to Rome and the cause of God was won. Then she retired to a little cell at Viterbo, and prepared in solitude for her end. She died in her eighteenth year. Not long after, she appeared in glory to Alexander IV., and bade him translate her body. He found it as the vision had said, but fragrant and beautiful, as if still in life.
Reflection.—Rose lived but seventeen years, saved the Church’s cause, and died a Saint. We have lived, perhaps, much longer, and yet with what result? Every minute something can be done for God. Let us be up and doing.