Illustrated Catholic Family Annual – Chapel of Saint Rosalia

engraving of the interior of the Chapel of Saint Rosalia; from the Illustrated Catholic Family Annual, 1883, artist unknownArticle

Saint Rosalia, the patroness of Palermo, was daughter of a Norman lord who deduced his pedigree from the imperial family of Charlemagne, and niece of William the Good, King of Sicily. She was born in a palace, but, despising in her youth all worldly vanities, made herself an abode in a cave on Mount Pelegrino, three miles from Palermo, where she died in the odor of sanctity in the year 1160. The body of this pious virgin was rediscovered in a grotto under the mountain where it had been originally entombed and hidden, for fear that Moorish pirates, who infested the coasts, might discover and profane it, in the year of Jubilee 1625, under Pope Urban VIII, and was translated into the metropolitan church of Palermo with great solemnity. A terrible pestilence which desolated the island at this period suddenly ceased on the exposure of her relics. Her grotto was transformed into a rich and beautiful chapel which is an object of much veneration and a famous resort of pilgrims.

This saint is connected with the early history of the Church in the United States; for when Iberville brought out his colony to the mouth of the Mississippi in 1700 he ascended the river to the home of the Natchez tribe of Indians and built Fort Rosalie there. It occupied the site of the present city – and see of the diocese – of Natchez.

MLA Citation

  • “Chapel of Saint Rosalia”. Illustrated Catholic Family Annual, 1883. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 January 2017. Web. 29 May 2017. <>