Saints Preserve Us
Day 405 – August 30, 2012
Today in Peru, August 30, is Santa Rosa de Lima Day. This day celebrates the only female Peruvian saint of the Catholic Church and, according to New Advent, she was the first person from the Americas canonized. Wikipedia describes her as the patron saint of…
…native Indian people of the Americas; of gardeners; of florists; of the City of Lima; of Peru; of the New World; of Sittard, the Netherlands; of India; of people misunderstood for their piety and of the resolution of family quarrels.
In Lima, schools and many businesses take the day off to honor their patron saint. One tradition on this day is for children to go to the Church of Santa Rosa and drop prayer messages into a well.
The big news for this year, courtesy from the newspaper Publimetro, is that this is the first year people will be able to send their prayers via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I can only assume that the handle of “santarosa” was already taken at Gmail.
This is not the first time I have lived in a city with a patron saint. In my time in the United States, I have lived in…
…St. Paul, Minnesota (patron saint of missions and theologians);
…St. George, Utah (patron saint of archers and soldiers); and
…San Diego, California (patron saint of Franciscan laity)
However, this is the first time I have lived in an area that makes space for its religious iconography.
Please now allow me to share two examples found in parks around the area:
While I cannot speak to the majority of homes in Lima, I can describe the domicile that we are currently in. I will make the assumption (always a dangerous game to play) that the architectural feature I am about to mention is fairly common given that Peru is a predominately Christian country (the World Alamanac and Book of Facts 2012 describes Peru as 81% Roman Catholic and 13% Evangelical Christian). I am referring to a recess in the wall where a saint or other religious icon can be placed.
As for us, we have decided to take this unique feature and use it to showcase the creativity of our children. Some people tack up work of arts on the refrigerator, we have this…
It’s a llama made by our middle child. Gallery hours are 10am to 6pm but appointments are required. Hope to see you soon.