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Our Patron Saint

Who is Saint Rosalie?

Unfortunately, we know little of the life of Saint Rosalie (or Rosalia).  In a sense, the story of her life begins almost five hundred years after her death.

In 1625 the city of Palermo on the Island of Sicily was suffering a period of plague.  Saint Rosalia appeared in a vision to a hunter near a cave just outside of the city.  Based on the vision the hunter went into the cave and discovered her remains.  The following inscription was carved into the wall:

"I, Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses, and Quisquina, have taken the resolution to live in this cave for the love of my Lord, Jesus Christ."

Her relics were paraded through the streets of the city and three days later the plague miraculously ended.  Her intercession was credited with saving the city and she was declared the Patroness of Palermo.

Sinibald, Lord of Roses, and his wife, Quisquina were believed to be descendants of Charlemagne, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.  They were prominent citizens in Palermo during the Twelfth century.

It is believed that Rosalia left her life in Palermo to live alone in the mountains practicing penitential acts so as to live in closer communion with God.  She died in the cave around 1160 AD.  Most statues and pictures of St. Rosalia have her dressed in the habit of the Basilian Order but there is no proof that she ever entered into an Order, a monastery, or other religious community prior to residing alone in the cave.

The Feast Day of Saint Rosalia is September 4.