Item #5724 Les espines changées en roses par Saincte Rose du Peru. Presentées à très noble, & très vertueuse dame, Madame de Sevigny. Par Monsieur de Fortia, Sieur de Piderzay. Estienne DE FORTIA.
Les espines changées en roses par Saincte Rose du Peru. Presentées à très noble, & très vertueuse dame, Madame de Sevigny. Par Monsieur de Fortia, Sieur de Piderzay.
Santa Rosa de Lima: One U.S. Copy
“Voici la prémière fleur du nouveau monde, cueillie dans Lima, ville capitale de Péru”
Rome, Philippe M. Mancini, 1671.

Les espines changées en roses par Saincte Rose du Peru. Presentées à très noble, & très vertueuse dame, Madame de Sevigny. Par Monsieur de Fortia, Sieur de Piderzay.

8vo (158 x 100mm), [8], 120 pages. Typographical head- and tail-pieces, wood-cut initials and vignettes. Discrete old annotation, “Cred. i. No. 4”, probably a library shelf mark, on lower right of title page following imprint; ca. 18th century ownership inscription, “Ex libr. … D. Abb. Franconi,” below imprint, crossed out and followed by another contemporary inscription, “Della Libreria dell’ Eremo di Frascati”. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, titling in ink on spine. Very light water stains on a few pages towards the end. Overall crisp and fresh. Excellent.

Very rare first and only edition of this life of Santa Rosa de Lima (1586-1617), the first canonized saint of the Americas, patroness of the indigenous people of the Americas and the patron saint of embroiderers, gardeners and florists.

 The book was published in Rome in 1671, the same year as the Saint’s canonization. Written in French, it is dedicated to Madame the Sevigne (1626-1696), herself a very devout Catholic. It depicts the Saint’s intense devotion to Christ and her extreme ascetic practices where penance was crucial. De Fortia recounts a story in which Santa Rosa, famous for her beauty, responded  to a compliment regarding her beautiful hands “elles ne seront pas demain”; and then promptly dipped her hands in lime, so disfiguring them that she was unable to use them for 15 days (pp. 31-32). These practices were not only a way for Santa Rosa to express her devotion, but also to resist the pressures of her family and society to marry and bear children.

 Born Isabel Flores de Oliva in Lima, Peru to a Spanish father and a Peruvian-born criollo mother, she took the name of Rosa early on. From an early age, however, she demonstrated strong religious devotion and undertook penitential acts like daily fasting. As a Dominican tertiary, she spent much of her short life in prayer in a small cell attached to her parents’ home. She supported her impoverished family by selling her fine embroidery and flowers from the family garden, and she engaged in charitable work, tending to the sick and needy, offering them spiritual solace, food, and hospice care.

 According to legend, Saint Rose accurately predicted the date of her death on August 25, 1617. Her funeral, held at the cathedral in Lima, was a major event attended by all the city’s authorities. Saint Rose’s embodiment of Christian virtues earned her widespread admiration and contributed to her canonization in 1671 by Pope Clement X, making her the first saint of the Americas. Various annual celebrations and numerous churches have been dedicated in her honor, perpetuating her influence as an example of humility, suffering, and selflessness in the Catholic faith.

 The author of this biography, Estienne de Fortia (b. 1618), was a scion of a French noble family, whose father, François de Fortia, served as secretary to the Chambre du Roi, president of the Trésoriers de France in Limoges, and Conseiller d’État. Estienne de Fortia authored at least 12 other religious works in French, all printed in Rome by Philippe Marie (i.e., Filippo Maria) Mancini between 1668 and 1676.

 OCLC: Three copies worldwide (Indiana University, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma, and Biblioteca Nacional de España).



* Edward Aymé, “St. Rose of Lima,” in The Catholic Encyclopedia (1912); ; Luis Carlos L. Marques, “Rose de Lima,” in C. Leonardi et al. (eds.), Diccionario de los santos, vol. II (Madrid, 2000), pp. 2003–2006. For Estienne de Fortia and the De Fortia family, see: J.B.P.J. Courcelles, Histoire généalogique et héraldique des pairs de France… (Paris, 1824), vol. 3.

Price: $2,650.00

See all items in Rare Books
See all items by