By Barbara Fraser
LIMA, Peru — The first saint to be canonized in the Americas may also be the first to have her own email address.
The courtyard beside the Church of St. Rose of Lima in the heart of the Peruvian capital draws thousands of pilgrims each Aug. 30, when the country celebrates the feast of its patron saint. Besides visiting her austere bedroom and the tiny garden hermitage where she prayed, pilgrims write letters to St. Rose, asking her blessing or aid, and drop them down a well. Vendors do a brisk business in stationery and envelopes, as well as holy cards and other religious items.
Devotees who cannot travel to Lima can send their petitions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and staff in the Archdiocese of Lima will print the messages and drop them down the well.
Since the beginning of August, more than 5,000 messages have arrived from as far away as Turkey, Germany, France, the United States and the Philippines, Daniel Jacobo, archdiocesan press spokesman, told CNS.