Saint Rosalia

detail of a bas-relief of Saint Rosalia, Wolfgang Stainböck, c.1707 on a column erected against the plague, Holy Trinity church, Waidhofen an der Thaya, Lower Austria. photographed on 18 February 2014 by Wolfgang Sauber; swiped from Wikimedia Commons; click for source imageAlso known as

  • La Santuzza (the little saint)



Born to the Sicilian nobility, the daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses, and Quisquina. Descendant of Charlemagne. Raised around the royal Sicilian court. From her youth, Rosalia knew she was called to dedicate her life to God. When grown, she moved to cave near her parent’s home, and lived in it the rest of her life; tradition says that she was led to the cave by two angels. On the cave wall she wrote “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.” Rosalia remained apart from the world, dedicated to prayer and works of penance for the sake of Jesus, and died alone.

In 1625, during a period of plague, she appeared in a vision to a hunter near her cave. Her relics were discovered, brought to Palermo, and paraded through the street. Three days later the plague ended, intercession to Rosalia was credited with saving the city, and she was proclaimed its patroness. The traditional celebration of Rosalia lasted for days, involved fireworks and parades, and her feast day was made a holy day of obligation by Pope Pius XI in 1927.



  • c.1160 Mount Pellegrino, Italy, apparently of natural causes
  • buried in her cave by workers collapsing it


Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Rosalia“. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 May 2016. Web. 25 May 2016. <>