May 22: The feast of *Saint Rita of Cascia*

Today, May 22, we celebrate the feast day of *Saint Rita of Cascia*(1386-1456), the patron saint of impossible causes and whom St. John Paul II called “a disciple of the Crucified One” and an “expert in suffering.”

Saint Rita’s life was one of hardship, difficulty, and disappointment, but she never lost faith in the Lord, praying ceaselessly throughout what seemed like endless days filled with harsh conditions, and was delivered from them.

Born in Italy Rita grew in holiness, practicing daily prayer, asking permission from her parents to enter the convent at age 12. However, she got married according to her parent’s wishes. Their union was blessed
with twin sons. Unfortunately, quick tempered man who was physically and verbally abused her for eighteen years. All alog she prayed for her husband and her children who were greatly influenced by their father’s behavior.

After 16 years of marriage, her prayers were answered and her husband converted, beginning to lead a holy and penitent life. Sadly, just two years later, he was ambushed and stabbed to death by men he had previously wronged.

Saint Rita’s now teenaged sons wished to seek revenge against their father’s killers, and Rita tried to discourage them successfully.

The saint then become a nun in the Augustinian convent at Cascia.  Rita’s hidden, simple life in religion was distinguished by obedience and charity; she performed many extreme penances.

Rita was bedridden for the last four years of her life, consuming
almost nothing except for the Eucharist. She died of tuberculosis at the age of 70 on May 22, 1456.

Her body has remained incorrupt to this day; the face is beautiful and well preserved.

St. Rita was canonized in 1900 by Pope Leo XIII. She is the patron saint of impossible causes, sterility, abuse victims, loneliness, marriage difficulties, parenthood, widows, the sick, bodily ills and wounds.

*St. Rita, pray for us.*

*✝Prayer:*

O powerful St. Rita, rightly called Saint of the Impossible, I come to you with confidence in my great need. You know well my trials, for you yourself were many times burdened in this life.

Come to my help, speak for me, pray with me, intercede on my behalf before the Father. I know that God has a most generous heart and that he is a most loving Father.

Join your prayers to mine and obtain for me the grace I desire *(here mention your request)*. You who were so very pleasing to God on earth and are so much so now in heaven, I promise to use this favour, when granted, to better my life, to proclaim God’s  mercy, and to make you more widely known and loved. Amen.

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