Saturday, July 3, 2010

St. Rose of Viterbo (1235 to March 6, 1252)

When I was 15-years-old, my mother took me aside and told me that her friend and co-worker, Virginia, said that I looked wild when I walked into a room. She made the observation when she saw me enter a funeral parlor for a family friend the night before.
"From now on, you're going to have to tie back your hair." my mother ordered.
It didn't matter to me what I looked like. I covered my body with sweaters in the summer and I didn't go to my high school prom. Although I had plenty of male friends, I went on my first date as an 18-year-old college student and ended up the marrying guy.
So, all these years later, as I was watching a Fourth of July parade and listening to older folks complain about the bikini-clad girls with their male suitors, drinking liquor at 8 a.m., I was reminded of what older people thought of me when I was that age.
How dare people have preconceived notions that these were slutty girls looking for a good time. They were, in fact, Boston College graduates (I overheard a conversation), enjoying themselves. Since I've already written about St. Maria Goretti, the patron saint of youth, the closest saint I could find was the vibrant Rose of Viterbo, who died at 17-years-old.
She was born in Viterbo, Italy in 1235. Her parents were poor and at a young age was taken ill and cured by the Blessed Virgin Mother, who then asked her to join the Third Order of the Franciscans.
St. Rose of Viterbo, a virgin, died on March 6, 1252. She was canonized in 1457 and her feast day is Sept. 4. Nearly 750 years after her death, it was announced on June 11, 2010 that she died from Cantrell's syndrome. She is the patron saint of people in exile and people rejected by religious orders.

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