The weather reports had been predicting rain all weekend. Skies were overcast, and the wind blew fiercely but the rain held off until Tuesday, when fog covered the city and rain bursted forth from the sky, nearly drowning me as I walked to work. As I entered class with wet feet and ruined hair, my student laughed, “Santa Rosa comes again!”
A storm is predicted for five days before or after August 30th, which is Santa Rosa de Lima’s feast day. Science says it’s the changing on the seasons, religion says it’s the tradition.
Santa Rosa is a Peruvian Saint, who disappointed her parents by refusing to marry and instead taking a vow of virginity. She barricaded herself up and devoted her life to God. In 1615, her hometown of Lima, Peru was threatened by an attack from Dutch Pirates. Santa Rosa passionately prayed and pleaded with God for the safety of her city, and an unpredicted sea storm suddenly arose, and the pirates were unable to attack. Lima was saved.
Pirates take note: In late August, as the spring equinox approaches and the earth tilts the southern hemisphere closer to the sun, warm air from the north meets the cold winds from the south pole – and the seasons battle it out in one final end of season storm – La Tormenta de Santa Rosa.
While I’m suffering the cold wind and treacherous rain – I take joy in knowing that if tradition prevails, when Santa Rosa leaves, the sunshine arrives. Finally.