St. Rose of Viterbo
Rose was born in 1235 in Viterbo, Italy. She lived at the time when Emperor Frederick had conquered land that belonged to the Church. Rose's special mission was to make the people of her own city and nearby cities remain faithful to the Holy Father. And this she did when she was just a teenager.
In fact, Rose was only eight years old when our Blessed Mother told her while she was sick that she was to wear the habit of St. Francis. Our Lady also told Rose to give good example by her words and actions. Slowly the girl gained her health. She began to think more and more about how much Jesus suffered for us and how much sinners hurt him. She prayed and made sacrifices to show Jesus how much she loved him.
Later on, this daring girl began to preach in the streets of the city. She told people to stand up to the emperor who had taken land from the Church. So many people listened to the saint that Rose's father became frightened. He told her he would beat her if she did not stop preaching. She was only about thirteen, but she answered gently, "If Jesus could be beaten for me, I can be beaten for him. I do what Jesus has told me to do, and I must not disobey him."
Two years more Rose preached with such success that the enemies of the pope wanted her killed. In the end, the ruler sent Rose and her parents out of the city. But she said that the emperor was going to die soon and that is just what happened. Back in Viterbo, the saint was not permitted to become a nun, so she returned to her own home. There she died in 1252, when she was only seventeen. Her body is still preserved and venerated in Viterbo.
Reflection: "Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." (1 Tim. 4:12)