Saint Rita of Cascia
1381 – 1447
Feastday: May 22
Also known as: Margarita of Cascia; Rita la
Abogada de Impossibles
was born in the year 1381 in the village of Roccaporena, near Cascia,
in the Diocese of Spoleto, Italy. She was a daughter of Antonio
and Amata Lotti, known as Peacemakers of Jesus; they had Rita late in
life. Rita was baptized with the name of "Margherita". As a young girl
Rita frequently visited the convent of the Augustinian nuns of Cascia
and showed interest in a religious life. Saint Rita wanted to become a
nun, but in obedience to her elderly parents, she married. Her husband,
Paolo Mancini, was the source of much suffering as he was cruel to her,
but she repaid his perfidy with prayer and kind attention to him: he
was converted in time, becoming most considerate of others and
God-fearing. When Rita was 18, she was the mother of two sons, twins.
Paolo was employed as a watchman for the town.
Paolo often found himself drawn into the conflicts that existed between rival
political factions One day as he was returning from work Paolo was ambushed and
killed. The pain which this unexpected and violent death inflicted upon Rita was
only compounded by the fear she felt that her two teenage sons, moved by the
unwritten law of the "vendetta," would seek to avenge their father's death.
Rita's only recourse was to prayer and persuasion. But her example of
forgiveness, her words of instruction and pleading, her prayers for their change
of heart, were unable to move the two boys to forego any act of retaliation, and
so Rita entrusted the cause totally to God, asking him to handle the situation
which was beyond her control. As it happened, both sons died within the year.
Now alone, She applied for admission to
the Augustinian convent at Cascia, but, being a widow, she was refused. Prayer,
fasting, penances of many kinds, and good works filled her days. Unsuccessful at
first because she was a widow, Rita eventually succeeded. she was able to become
a nun and entered the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene at Cascia at age 36 and
stayed there until her death.
1442, during the night of Holy Friday, she received the stigmata from a
thornbush of the crown of the Crucifix, that according to the tradition,
embedded itself in her forehead. Rita of Cascia died on May 22, 1447. The incorrupt body of this “patron saint
of hopeless cases” can be seen at the Basilica of St Rita in Cascia, Italy.
It is also publicly known that her body has been seen in different positions in
the glass case, as well as eyes have opened and closed unaided. Her symbol is
the rose petal, which she shares with St Therese of Lisieux.
Rita was beatified by pope Urban VIII in
1627 and canonized on May 24, 1900 by Pope Leo XIII.
Patroness of impossible cases.
Represented as holding roses, or roses and
figs, and sometimes with a wound in her forehead.
Message form Barbara Strange on November 14, 2012.
I had a bad PET scan a month ago. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer
in 2007. My PETshowed it was in my liver and my tumor marker was above
2100. (It should be 22) I have been praying that it would drop so I
would be assured that the weekly chemo was working. I have been praying
to St. Rita along with St.Jude, St. Peregrine,and St. Therese. A
winning combo! My cancer marker dropped from 2500 to 1400!
Dear Rita, model wife and
widow, you yourself suffered in a long illness showing patience out of
love for God. Teach us to pray as you did. Many invoke you for help,
full of confidence in your intercession. Deign to come now to our aid
for the relief and cure of (name). To God all things are possible; may
this healing give glory to the Lord.
Novena to Saint Rita of Cascia
This Novena must be said for nine consecutive
days, and then must be published if your petition is granted.
O Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine
Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favors hast
been called the Advocate of the hopeless and even of the impossible; St. Rita,
so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for
thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from Him whatsoever thou askest, on
account of which all confidently have recourse to thee expecting, if not always
relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with
God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many
wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own
devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee. We promise, if our
petition is granted, to glorify thee by making known thy favor, to bless and
sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the
Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray thee grant that ...................................
(here mention your request).
Pray for us, O holy Saint Rita, that we may be made worthy of the promises of
Hymn to Saint Rita of Cascia
Come, virgins chaste; pure brides, draw near:
Let Earth exult and Heaven hear
The Hymn that grateful accents raise,
Our song of joy in Rita's praise.
By fast her sinless frame is weak;
Her livid flesh the scourges streak.
In pity for her Savior's woes,
Her days and even nights are closed.
The thorn-wound on her brow is shown,
The crimson rose in winter blown,
And full-ripe figs on frozen tree
At Rita's wish the wonders see.
The widowed spouse and wedded wife
The way to heaven see in her life;
The way secure our Rita trod,
In life's dim day, through paint o God.
Praise to the Father and the Son,
Praise to the Spirit, Three in One;
O grant us grace in heaven to reign
Through Rita's prayer and life-long pain.
V. Thou hast signed thy servant Rita
A. With the sign of thy Love and Passion.
Let us Pray.
O God! who didst deign to confer on St. Rita for imitating Thee in love of her
enemies, the favor of bearing her heart and brow the marks of Thy Love and
Passion, grant we beseech Thee, that through her intercession and merit, we may,
pierced by the thorns of compunction, ever contemplate the sufferings of Thy
Passion, who livest and reignest forever and ever.
Chaplet of Saint Rita
O Holy St. Rita, exemplary Augustinian Sister, we honor you for your
devotion to the Passion of Christ. Although your early life was filled with
disappointment, frustration, and unceasing tragedy, you never lost faith and
trust in God. For this you are the patroness of the impossible, and our
inspiration and advocate in desperate circumstances.
Say 3 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys, and 3 Glorias.
(The 9 beads of this chaplet are blue)
The Prayer of the Roses
Oh, Blessed Saint Rita, my powerful advocate, behold me
prostrate before thy Divine Spouse, Jesus, thy Lord, thy God,
and thy All. Behold me recalling His favors to thee, that thou mayst plead for
me. May this blessed Rose, sweet with the memories of thy daily acts of love
before the image of the Crucified Savior, and of the wonders wrought for thee in
thy dying moments, give me confidence that thou in Heaven wilt plead that I,
too, may share in the good things God has in store for thy clients.
Saint Rita, mystical Rose of every virtue, pray for us.
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