About Our Patroness St. Rita
“Saint of the Impossible” – The Life of Saint Rita
For centuries St. Rita of Cascia (1381-1457) has been one of the most popular saints in the Catholic Church. She is known as the “Saint of the Impossible” because of her amazing answers to prayers, as well as the remarkable events of her own life.
St. Rita wanted to become a nun, but in obedience to her aged parents, she married. Her husband caused her much suffering, but she repaid his cruelty with prayer and kindness. In time he was converted, becoming considerate and God-fearing. But St. Rita was to undergo another great sorrow when her husband was murdered. St. Rita then found that her two sons were entertaining thoughts of avenging their father’s murder. She feared they would put their desires into effect in accord with the evil custom of the Vendetta. With heroic love for their souls, she begged God to take them from this life rather than allow them to commit this great sin. Not long afterward they both died, after preparing themselves to meet God.
Bereft of spouse and children, St. Rita devoted herself to prayer, penance and works of charity. After a time she applied for admittance to the Augustinian Convent in Cascia. She was refused, but after praying to her three special patron saints – St. John the Baptist, St. Augustine and St. Nicholas of Tolentino – she miraculously entered the convent and was allowed to remain. This took place around the year 1411.
In the convent, St. Rita’s life was marked by great charity and severe penances. Her prayers obtained for others remarkable cures, deliverance from the devil and other special favors from God. So that she might share in the pain of His Crown of Thorns, Our Lord gave St. Rita a thorn wound in her forehead. It was very painful and gave off a disagreeable odor, yet she considered it a very great grace. She prayed, “O loving Jesus, increase my patience according as my sufferings increase.” The wound lasted the rest of her life.
St. Rita died on May 22, 1457 at the age of 76. People flocked to the convent to pay their last respects. Innumerable miracles took place through her intercession, and devotion to her spread far and wide.
St. Rita’s body was preserved perfectly incorrupt for several centuries, and at times it gave off a sweet fragrance. At the beatification ceremony, the body of the Saint raised itself up and opened its eyes.
God has heard St. Rita’s prayers for others on countless occasions, and certainly she will gladly intercede once again, on behalf of those who pray to her now – thus continuing to perceive the truth of her great name: The Saint of the Impossible!
Litany to St. Rita
St. Rita, obedient daughter… pray for us
St. Rita, loving spouse… pray for us
St. Rita, honorable mother… pray for us
St. Rita, spouse of Christ… pray for us
St. Rita, generous in forgiving… pray for us
St. Rita, perfect example of every state of life… pray for us
St. Rita, model of gentleness… pray for us
St. Rita, saint of the impossible… pray for us
St. Rita, instrument of peace… pray for us
St. Rita, advocate of desperate cases… pray for us
St. Rita, persevering in prayer… pray for us
St. Rita, attracted to the Cross of Christ… pray for us
St. Rita, faithful servant unto death… pray for us