Saint Rita was born in 1381 in Roccaporena, a small village near Cascia, Italy.  Wife, mother, widow, and finally, Augustinian nun, Rita was beatified in 1900 and canonized in 2000. She was known as a peacemaker, publicly forgiving those who murdered her husband. She had prayed that her two sons would not fall into the sin of vendetta, for their father's violent death; they died within the year.  After facilitating a peace agreement between the warring factions of Cascia, Rita was finally admitted to the Monastery of Saint Mary Magdalen, where she lived out the remainder of her life as a nun. She became known for her life of mortification and the efficacy of her prayers for others. When she was 60 years old, Rita received the stigmata of a thorn in her forehead, while praying that she might share in Christ's passion and suffering. She died peacefully on May 22, 1457. Saint Rita is known as the saint of impossible causes. She is the patroness of abuse victims, loneliness, marriage difficulties, parents, widows and bodily ills. Her incorrupt body is venerated in the Basilica of Cascia, Italy.

© 2019 by Colleen Jewell