St. Rosalia (1130–1166 A.D.) was born to a wealthy and noble Norman family, descendants of Charlemagne who had migrated to Sicily. From a young age Rosalia was strongly drawn to Christ, which caused her to leave her life of wealth and comfort to follow Him in complete solitude as a hermitess. Tradition holds that St. Rosalia was led by two angels to a cave near Palermo where she spent the rest of her life in prayer, complete solitude, and works of penance. 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." Centuries later, when a plague was ravaging Palermo, her relics were discovered in the cave by a hunter to whom she had appeared in order to direct him to their location. Rosalia instructed the hunter to have her relics carried in procession three times around the city, after which the plague ceased. St. Rosalia was credited with saving the city, and a sanctuary was erected in her cave which remains a pilgrimage site to this day. St. Rosalia is the patron of Palermo and Sicily, Italy. Her feast day is September 4th.
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