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Saint Rose of Viterbo

Patron Saint of people in exile, people rejected by religious orders, and Viterbo


Public Domain

Franciscan Tertiary (ca. 1233-1251)

Her life

+ Born into a poor family, Rose was a pious child who loved helping other needy families. According to early accounts of her life, Rose adopted habits of prayer and penance as a child.

+ When she was around ten years old, Rose was inspired by a vision of the Blessed Virgin to enter the Third Order of St. Francis and to preach penance in her native city of Viterbo.

+ Rose was soon received as a Franciscan tertiary and received a simple habit of a tunic with a cord around the waist. She would preach in public, calling on Christians to truly live the faith they professed.

+ Shortly before her death, Rose asked to be accepted by the Poor Clare monastery in Viterbo, but she was refused because she could not provide the necessary dowry required for admission.

+ Saint Rose of Viterbo died on March 6, 1251, and was canonized in 1457.

Spiritual bonus

Saint Rose of Viterbo is honored as the patron saint of the motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This community traces its roots to 1849, sharing its earliest history with the Sisters of St. Francis “of the Lakes” in Milwaukee.


The five wise virgins brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Then at midnight, the cry went up: Behold, the Bridegroom is coming; come out to meet Christ the Lord.” (Communion Antiphon—Mass for the Common of Virgins)


Lord God, who gave the holy Virgin Rose gift upon gift from heaven, grant, we pray, that, imitating her virtues on earth, we may delight with her in the joys of eternity. 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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