Born: Apr. 20th, 1586
Died: Aug. 24th, 1617
FEast: Aug. 23rd
sewing, gardening, florists, Family Arguments, Peru, the Philippines, India
Isabel Flores de Oliva was born to immigrant parents in Lima, Peru in 1586. Her parents were part of a Spanish colony -- her mother was a Peruvian native and her father was part of the Spanish army. They raised her in the Christian faith, and it was apparent that Isabel was greatly impacted by it from the time she was very young. She was also said to have been extremely beautiful, which led to her nickname, "Rose". She took the name formally when she was confirmed.
Rose, set on entering religious life, was not fond of the attention her attractiveness caused. To try and be rid of some of it, she would rub pepper on her face to give it blemishes, and she cut her hair short. She also would wear a silver band on her head that had spikes on the inside, much like a crown of thorns.
Rose's parents did not approve of these things for many reasons. They wanted her to marry, and were worried when she refused. She continued to garden and sew to support them and the rest of her family, but she would not bend to their wishes and fought with them over the decision for ten years.
In addition to her work, Rose sold flowers she grew in the market, spent much time in adoration, built a small grotto for prayer, and sold extra work to be able to feed the hungry in her community. When her parents finally relented, her father gave her a room in the house to herself where she became reclusive. She also became a vegetarian, and joined the Third Order of Dominicans since her parents would still not let her enter the convent.
For the next 11 years of her life, Rose slept very sparingly and spent the rest of her time in prayer. During the last few years of her life, she cared for the elderly, impoverished, and sick. By doing so, she became the founder of social services in Peru.
Rose passed away at only the age of 31 due to her severe lifestyle. She also suffered many years from pains of an invisible stigmata, lengthy illnesses, and mental health issues. When she passed, the whole city was rumored to smell like roses and most all inhabitants turned out for her funeral.
in your day and place, some of the choices you made concerning your appearance were almost necessary to avoid the wrong attention. But now show us how harmful body negativity, unhealthy eating choices, self harm, and lack of sleep/self care can be. Help us seek help for these things.
Rose, always described as incredibly beautiful, would also have been very thin, injured, and weakened by her physical practices. I also chose to portray a wound in her forehead from the "crown of thorns" she chose to wear. Her hair is short, the way she cut it, and she looks determined despite her fatigue. The pattern on her clothing also comes from Peruvian fabric.