Rosalia, a descendant of Charlemagne, was born in 1130 at Palermo, Sicily, the daughter of Duke Sinibald and his wife Quisquina. From a young age Rosalia was aware that she was called to dedicate her life to God.
Upon entering adulthood she abandoned her family home and all worldly possessions to live out her life as a hermitess. A popular legend tells how Rosalia was led by two angels to a cave near her parents home. It was in this cave that she would spend the rest of her life, alone with her Lord. Rosalia expressed this desire when she etched into the wall of the cave the words "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 spent the rest of her life in this cave, dedicating her life to prayer and fasting. She died alone in this cave, apparently of natural causes, in 1160.
In the year 1625, the plague was raging in Sicily. A man received a vision of this forgotten young woman who implored him to search for her remains. He led a group of monks who discovered Rosalia's cave and, in it, her relics. They paraded these relics through the city of Palermo and within three days the plague had vanished. The intercession of Rosalia was credited for this miracle and she was quickly declared the patroness of Palermo and all of Sicily.