Saint Roselia, also known as La Santuzza, is a venerated Italian saint who is the patroness of Palermo, Sicily. She is a much-revered figure in the region and her feast day is celebrated with great fervor.
Roselia was born in 1130 to a noble family in Palermo. Her father, Sinibald, was a wealthy and influential member of the court of Roger II, the Norman King of Sicily and was a descendant of the great Charlemagne. Despite being born into privilege, Roselia was deeply devoted to God from a young age and spent much of her time in prayer and contemplation.
At the age of 14, Roselia renounced her worldly possessions and retreated to a cave on Mount Pellegrino, outside Palermo. She lived there as a hermit for the next 12 years, dedicating herself to prayer and meditation. During this time, Roselia is said to have experienced mystical visions and received divine revelations. On that cave wall, where she spent her life as a hermit, she wrote on it’s wall the following, "I, Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses, have taken the resolution to live in this cave for the love of my Lord, Jesus Christ".
In 1166, Roselia fell ill and died in her cave. Her body was discovered by a hunter several years later, who was led to her cave by a miraculous light. Upon discovering her remains, the hunter reported that her body was miraculously preserved and emanated a sweet fragrance. Her body was taken to the Cathedral of Palermo, where it remains to this day.
Over the centuries, Roselia became known as a powerful intercessor, and many miracles were attributed to her intercession. In 1624, during an outbreak of the plague in Palermo, her relics were taken in procession through the city, and the epidemic was miraculously halted. Consequently, she is especially important internationally as a saint invoked in times of plague. She was later canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1740.
Today, Saint Roselia is still venerated as a powerful intercessor and patron saint of Palermo, Sicily. Her feast day is celebrated on September 4th, and her relics are still housed in the Cathedral of Palermo, where they are venerated by pilgrims from all over the world.
Saint Roselia is widely venerated and celebrated in Palermo, where she is seen as a symbol of piety, devotion, and selflessness.