I’ve always loved reading about the lives of the Saints. I have read countless number of books on the lives of the Saints. It is almost an obsession, which I have to be careful about. I have to be careful because I am who I am and I am not anyone else. Therefore, in order for me to be a Saint I need to become the who God created me to be and not become St. Rita or any other saint for that matter. Our sanctity does not come about by our efforts to become someone else but by the power of the Holy Spirit transforming us into a pure version of ourselves. But I cannot deny the fact that the lives of the Saints are so unique and extraordinary. I feel both enlightened and discouraged whenever I finish reading a story of a Saints life and the life of St. Rita of Cascia is no exception. Her life was anything but ordinary and while her life inspires me to be extraordinary it also makes me feel like I will never get there because her life and mine are miles apart.
St. Therese of Lisieux is popular today because her life was simple. We read her life and we all think oh ya I’ve got this!! I can love in the little ways. I can love and deny myself when my husband wants to listen to Metallica and I don’t like it. I can sacrifice and sleep with my 6 year old at night even though I would rather sleep in my own comfy bed. But I’m telling you there is something in me that is so drawn to and attracted to Saints like Saint Rita. Let me give you a summary of all the extraordinary things that happened in her life.
St. Rita was born in 1381 to Italian parents who were very saintly themselves. Rita’s parents did not have any other children and were past child bearing years when God appeared to Rita’s mother in a vision and told her that she would give birth to a daughter, name her Rita, and Rita would be raised up to be a great Saint in the Church. This is exactly what happened. Rita’s parents raised Rita to know, love and serve God with all her mind, heart, and soul. Rita was very innocent and pure. In her whole live she never deviated from who God created her to be. She was not contaminated, tainted, dirtied, or polluted. She was clean, pure, free, and perfectly who God created her to be. St. Rita wanted very badly to become a nun and made her wishes known to her parents. Her parents, however, wanted Rita to marry. Rita was devastated at first but the Lord let Rita know that it was also His will that she marry. So Rita was obedient to her parents and to the Lord and at 14 years of age married a man whom her parents had chosen for her. Not long after they were married Rita’s husbands true colors started to shine. He was a well-off quick tempered man, full of vice and sinful living. He was abusive towards Rita and Rita bared it with submissiveness, love and humility. Rita’s husband eventually had a conversion and became a loving and faithful husband. Rita and her husband had two sons. When their sons were in their teen years and after 18 years of marriage, Rita’s husband was murdered. Rita grieved the loss of her husband very deeply but was quickly able to forgive his murderers. After his death Rita overheard her young teenage sons planning revenge against their Father’s murderers. Rita pleaded with them and told them the danger in their thinking. They did not listen to her and so Rita prayed to the Lord to either change their hearts and minds or to take them from this world if that is what would save their souls. Within a year both her sons died from natural causes. After the deaths of her husband and sons, Rita desired to enter the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene in Cascia but was turned away several times. It was only by a miracle that Rita was accepted into the order. St. Rita spent 40 years as a nun growing in love, penance, and prayer. St. Rita mortified her body in many ways and was known for her peacemaking abilities. Fifteen years before her death, while at prayer, she received on her forehead the mark of a thorn from Jesus’ crown of thorns. This wound on her forehead caused her immense pain as it festered and had worms crawling around in it, which caused her even more pain. St. Rita would spend most of her time in solitude as the wound caused the other nuns to feel uncomfortable. At one point St. Rita wanted to accompany others nuns on a pilgrimage to the Vatican to receive a plenary indulgence from the Pope for the Jubilee year. St. Rita’s superior told Rita she could go only if the wound on her forehead healed as it was unsightly and could cause scandal. St. Rita immediately went and asked God if He so willed it to take away the wound temporarily. The wound healed instantly and St. Rita went to Rome. The wound returned as soon as she stepped back into the convent. Many healing’s happened through St. Rita’s intercession during her life and even more (countless numbers) after her death. St. Rita lived on the Eucharist alone for the last four years of her life. St. Rita died on May 22, 1457 from tuberculosis. St. Rita is the patron saint of the impossible as it is said of her that anything she asks of God, God gives to her. She is also known as “the Peacemaker”. St. Rita’s body is incorruptible and throughout the years since her death St. Rita’s body has on many occasions levitated in her glass coffin and her eyes have opened. Her body often exudes sweet floral smells that can be smelt throughout the convent. For the full story of St. Rita you can purchase her life story here St. Rita of Cascia: Saint of the Impossible. You can also purchase her silver medal to wear Saint Rita from Cascia Silver Medal – The Patron Saints Medals.
Like I said her life was anything but ordinary. Her life is jaw dropping and inspiring!! Will I be St. Rita? Most certainly not and to become a saint myself I don’t have to. In fact if I try to I will fail miserably. What’s exciting and fills me with hope is that the same God who made Rita who she was is, is the same God who is transforming me and making me a saint. What more can I ask for? I’ve been talking about St. Rita to whoever will listen to me. It seems as though she has been forgotten about and is unknown to many. I want to make her known if I can. It’s the least I can do to honor a women who lived such an extraordinary life and who after her death has been such a powerful instrument of the Lord’s goodness and healing.
St. Rita’s feast day is May 22nd and she has a novena which starts on May 14th and ends on May 22nd. The link to her novena is here http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-rita-novena-2. Please join me in saying this novena for the many intentions of the world and in our own hearts. St. Rita is a powerhouse in the Catholic Church so let us honor her by turning to her for intercession. God grants St. Rita anything she asks so let us go to her in faith and trust. Amen.
Have you ever heard of St. Rita of Cascia? What do you think of her life?
Who are you favorite Saints? Why are you drawn to these Saints?
There are also several movies about her life. I love watching movies and I love St. Rita so I’m getting it and I can’t wait to see it. So excited!! Here is a link to one of the movies if you are interested in watching it. Saint Rita. I have to add that I have also watched movies on other saints. I have added the links to my favorites below if you are interested in purchasing.
Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine
Faustina: The Apostle of Divine Mercy
Saint Francis of Assisi: His Life and Miracles
Padre Pio Miracle Man
Life for Life: Maximilian Kolbe
Edith Stein: The Seventh Chamber
The Passion of Bernadette
St. Teresa of Avila
Pope John Paul II
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