Saint Rita of Cascia

                                                                         SAINT RITA OF CASCIA (Married at 12)


St. Rita was born in Rocca-porena. Italy, in 1381 and died on May 22 1472. She is the patron saint of difficult marriages and one of the patrons of impossible causes. Rita was beatified by Pope Urban VIII in 1627 and canonised by Pope Leo XII on May 24, 1900.

Although she wanted to be a nun, she was married off to an abusive and cruel nobleman, Paolo Mancini, when she was only 12. She had two sons by him and although he was not a practising Christian, she raised them in the faith. The Mancini family was immersed in a feud with the Chiqui family. The feud grew so bitter that one of Paulo’s allies betrayed and killed him.

                                                            PRAYING FOR HER SONS’ DEATH

Following his murder, Rita publicly pardon her husband’s killers at the funeral. But Paulo’s brother Bernardo encouraged Rita’s sons to shun forgiveness and instead take revenge on their father’s killer. Rita was so distressed at the prospect of her sons committing the mortal sin od murder that, after failing to dissuade them, she prayed that God would take them from her before they carried out the killing. Her prayers were answered and they both died a year later from dysentery.

Following their deaths, Rita wanted to fulfil her dream of entering a convent, but she was told by the convent of St Mary Magdalene that she could only join the sisters there if she secured a truce between the Mancinis and their foes. Through the intercession of St. John the Baptist and St. Augustine of Hippo, Bernardo Mancini agreed to end the feud and Rita was allowed to enter the convent.

                                                                   A WOUND ON HER FOREHEAD

During her time at the convent, she once prayed before a picture of Christ that she might endure the same sufferings as him. Almost immediately, a wound appeared on her forehead which continued to afflict her for the rest of her life. Following her death from tuberculosis, she was buried at the basilica of Cascia and her body was later discovered to be incorrupt. Her relics can still be found today at the basilica in Cascia.      

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