Feast of Saint Rita of Cascia
St. Rita of Cascia was born in Italy during an era of violent strife between cities and warring family tribes. As a child she repeatedly requested to enter the convent, but instead her parents arranged her marriage to a rich, ill-tempered, and violent man. He became physically abusive, yet she met his cruelty with kindness and patience. During her eighteen years of marriage she bore two sons whom she loved deeply. After many years of persistent prayer she eventually won her husband over to greater civility and kindness.
When he was murdered, her sons plotted a bloody vendetta against the culprits. St. Rita labored to guide her children into forgiveness, without success. She earnestly prayed that God would change her son’s murderous intentions, or allow them to die rather than commit a mortal sin. God heard St. Rita’s prayers, and soon both of her sons became ill and died. St. Rita was then free to join the convent, however, she was rejected due to her family’s connection with the local violence. She finally obtained entry only after much prayer, humility, patience, and perseverance.
St. Rita’s life in the convent was marked by heroic charity and penance as she closely united herself and her life of deep suffering to Christ. While praying before a crucifix, St. Rita mystically received a thorn in her forehead (stigmata) from Jesus’ Crown of Thorns. St. Rita is the patron saint of impossible causes, difficult marriages, and abuse victims.
Her feast day is May 22nd.
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Let me, thy Jesus, share in thy suffering, at least of one of thy thorns.”
Love God above all things.”
Saint rita, patroness of impossible causes, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.