Born in Lima, Peru, in 1586, nearly a century after the discovery of the New World, Isabel Flores de Oliva is the first flower of holiness produced by South America.
Her parents, poor Spaniards who came to live in the Viceroyalty of Peru, gave her a Christian education and introduced her to the life of Saint Catherine of Siena, whom she faithfully followed as a model of religious life. It was her own mother, who, having seen a rose on her cradle, gave her the name of Rose.
She devoted herself to the Divine Spouse at the age of 5. She took the habit of a Dominican tertiary because there was no Dominican convent in the city. She lived as a hermit in her parent’s garden where she devoted herself to prayer and mortification by fasting and scourging. Her influence was immense, as much through the mystical graces she enjoyed as by her charity for the sick, abandoned children, the poor, and the old.
She offered up her sufferings and her penitential life for the Church and the city, for the souls in purgatory, and for the conversion of sinners. She was particularly sensitive to lost souls even though they had been redeemed at great cost through the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. She wept over the fate of the Chinese, the Turks, and the heretical sects that were tearing Europe apart—Lutherans, Calvinists, Anabaptists, Anglicans ...
She surrendered her soul to God on August 29, 1617, at the age of 31 years. Pope Clement X canonized her in 1671