Saint Rose of Viterbo: Audacious Secular Franciscan

On September 4, the Franciscan family celebrates the memory of Saint Rose of Viterbo (c. 1233-1251), an audacious young Secular Franciscan woman who challenged her contemporaries as a public preacher.

Captivated by Franciscan friars

Born in the city of Viterbo, about 50 miles from Rome, to a working-class family, Rose was captivated by the Franciscan friars who had established a church there. She began dressing in their habit and devoted herself to prayer and ascetical practices in her home.

Gained reputation of foretelling future

She also experienced visions and gained a reputation of being able to foretell the future. To the consternation of her parents, people flocked to their home to hear Rose speak. In time, they allowed her to join the Brothers and Sisters of Penance (the Franciscan “Third Order”).

St Rose of Viterbo window LaCrosse WI 700pxlsThis window in La Crosse, Wisconsin, depicts Saint Rose.

Preached publicly to urge people to turn their lives to

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