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St. Rosalia

St. Rosalia - Museum Religious Art Classics

Artwork Narrative:

Artist: Anthony Van Dyck – c. 1624

St. Rosalia, the Little Saint, was known as a sacred and prayerful woman during her lifetime. However, it wasn’t until many years after her death that her true holiness was discovered. According to legend, Rosalia, a Norman and a descendant of Charlemagne, retired to a hermit’s life of prayer in a remote cave on Mount Pellegrino near Palermo. She had followed two angels to the location and spent the remainder of her life far from civilization until her death in 1166.

Centuries later, in 1624, a terrible plague appeared in the area. St. Rosalia appeared first to an old woman reeling from the sickness and next to a hunter. She told the hunter where her bones were and instructed him to arrange a Procession to carry them into Palermo. Miraculously, the plague went away, and a sanctuary was built at the cave site.

Her feast day is September 4.

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