St. Rita of Cascia
Born at Rocca Porena in the Diocese of Spoleto, 1386; died at the Augustinian convent of Cascia, 1456. Feast, 22 May. Represented as holding roses, or roses and figs, and sometimes with a wound in her forehead.
According to the
Life (Acta SS., May, V, 224) written at the time of her
beatification by the Augustinian, Jacob Carelicci, from two older biographies,
she was the daughter of parents advanced in years and distinguished for charity
which merited them the surname of
Peacemakers of Jesus Christ. Rita's great
desire was to become a nun, but, in obedience to the will of her parents, she,
at the age of twelve, married a man extremely cruel and ill-tempered. For
eighteen years she was a model wife and mother. When her husband was murdered
she tried in vain to dissuade her twin sons from attempting to take revenge; she
appealed to Heaven to prevent such a crime on their part, and they were taken
away by death, reconciled to God. She applied for admission to the Augustinian
convent at Cascia, but, being a widow, was refused. By continued entreaties, and,
as is related, by Divine intervention, she gained admission, received the habit
of the order and in due time her profession. As a religious she was an example
for all, excelled in mortifications, and was widely known for the efficacy of
Urban VIII, in 1637, permitted her Mass and Office. On account of the many miracles reported to have been wrought at her intercession she received in Spain the title of La Santa de los impossibiles. She was solemnly canonized 24 May, 1900.
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