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Saint of the Day: St. Rose of Viterbo

Lay Franciscan

(ca. 1233-1251)

Her life

+ Rose, whose personal history is obscured by many wonderful legends, was born in Viterbo (in modern-day Italy) and was remembered as a pious child.

+ It is said that when she was 10 years old, she met the Blessed Virgin Mary who instructed her to become a member of the Third Order of St. Francis and to call people to penance and conversion.

+ She lived an unassuming life of prayer and service in the home of her father, leaving only to fulfill her mission of preaching.

+ Rose later desired to become a Poor Clare nun in Viterbo’s Monastery of St. Mary, but she was refused because she was too poor to provide the necessary dowry. She accepted this disappointed with grace, although she predicted that she would be admitted to the monastery after her death.

+ Saint Rose died on March 6, 1251. In 1257, Pope Alexander IV ordered her remains to be moved to the Monastery of St. Mary. The community was renamed in honor of Rose, who was canonized in 1457.

For prayer and reflection

Here is a wise virgin, from among the number of the prudent, who went forth with lighted lamp to meet Christ.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Mass of the Common of Virgins


St. Rose of Viterbo Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin, is the motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. To learn about this community, visit:


Hear us, God our Savior, that, as we rejoice in commemorating the Virgin blessed Rose, we may be instructed by her loving devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Virgins)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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