St. Rita

St. Rita of Cascia (1381-1457) was an Italian widow whose feast day is May 22. At 12, despite her protests, Rita’s parents arranged for her to marry a man who often physically and emotionally abused her. Over time, she convinced him to become a better man and renounce a feud with a rival family. After a member of the rival family killed her husband, Rita publicly pardoned the murderer at her husband’s funeral. She attempted to stop her sons from seeking revenge, but after her attempts failed, she prayed to God to take them before they could commit murder and mortal sin. A year later, they died of dysentery. She attempted to join the monastery of St. Mary Magdalene in Cascia, but due to the scandal surrounding her husband’s murder, she was not allowed to join until she had resolved the feud between her family and the family of her husband’s murderer. After accomplishing this, she lived as an Augustinian nun until her death. She is the patron saint of impossible causes, marital problems, abuse, and sickness.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Are there any people in your life you can make amends with even if they treated you poorly?

  • Has your faith ever gotten you through a hard time?