Saint Rita of Cascia
1381 – 1447
Feastday: May 22
Also known as: Margarita of Cascia; Rita la Abogada de Impossibles
Rita 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.
In 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!
Prayer to Saint Rita
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.
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.