In the beautiful city of Lima, Peru, close to the impressive Plaza de Armas, or Arms Square, is the Church of the Holy Rosary, more commonly called “of the Dominicans”.
In this Church, as you walk toward the main altar, on the left, there is a life-size statue of the Blessed Mother that will halt your steps. Maybe the first thing that will “grab” you is her beauty, then the joyful expression of her face.
She seems to say, I’m here–what are you worried about?
And then you’d pass on unless a friend held your arm and whispered,
“Stay. There is even more to this statue. She spoke to a saint once…Actually, to three saints!”
Then you’d take another look, possibly kneel and certainly pray. And then, leading the friend aside, you’d whisper back, “What did she say?!”
And you’d hear this marvelous story:
Once, Saint John Masias who lived in Peru at the same time as St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres, was praying before this statue, called Our Lady of the Rosary, donated by Emperor Charles V, and beloved of Peruvians for her many miracles.
As he prayed, he felt rumblings…
Now, earthquakes are common in Peru, so John Masias probably stood still, hands folded, eyes wide, trying to gage the intensity of this rumble.
And then, as the reverberations continued, he stood up and turned to run when he heard the sweetest voice coming from the statue,
“Brother John, Brother John, where are you going?”
He stopped short and managed to answer,
“My Lady, like everybody else, I’m running from your Son’s severity…”
“Come back and don’t worry, am I not here?”
So he did. And after that, Brother John always affirmed that there was no better spot in all of Lima to weather an earthquake than by the statue of the Lady of the Rosary.
You are now probably curious what else did this beautiful statue say to the other two holy contemporaries of St. John Masias.
To St. Rose of Lima, who came one day to this same statue to ask her Blessed Mother which name she should go by, whether her official baptismal name of Isabel, or the nick name of Rose, she heard the same sweet voice that had regaled Masia’s ears:
“Rose of Holy Mary”.At another time it was the Infant Jesus who from His mother’s arms said to her, “Rose of my heart, I want you for my spouse.” To which the young saint fainted. It is no small thing to have God propose, you know.
And St. Martin de Porres the great miracle worker of Lima, came regularly to converse with the Blessed Lady, who one day, because the visit was so extended, ordered an angel to go ring the bell of St. Martin’s convent, which was the saint’s chore.
So, you see, dear reader, stay by Mary, stay with her Rosary, and there is no telling what she will do for you not only in the daily occurrences of life, but especially when life rumbles.
By Andrea F. PhillipsReferences: Revista Catolicismo, Nossa Senhora do Rosario, Padroeira de Lima, Peru by Valdis Grinstein.
Photo Attribution: Church of Santo Domingo Lima-Imehling : Our Lady of the Rosary-TFP Peru : Saint John Masias-Kordas : St Rose of Lima-Seges : St Martin de Porres-Barcex