ST.RITA OF CASCIA
THE HISTORY AND APOSTOLIC LIFE OF ST.RITA OF CASCIA
In Roman Catholic, St Rita of Cascia was popularly known as St and patroness of Impossibility, while in other countries She is called St of heartbroken and Peace. Because people experience possibility when ever Her name is been call in any difficult situation.
BELLOW IS THE BIOGRAPHY OF ST RITA OF CASCIA
St Rita of Cascia was Born in the family of Margherita Lotti in 1381 in (22-05-1457).She was a widow from Italy and during the time of Augustinian nun venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.
St Rita has a husband, but unfortunately After the death of Her husband, she couldn’t stand to marry another Man but Her intention was to joined an Augustinian community of religious sisters, it was there She became one of the Prayer warrior and was also known both for practicing mortification of the flesh and for the efficacy of her prayers. Uncountable miracles are recorded to her intercession, and she is often portrayed with a bleeding wound on her forehead, which is clearly to indicate a partial stigmata. Pope Leo XIII canonised Rita on 24 May 1900. Her feast day is celebrated on 22nd May. At her canonisation ceremony she was bestowed the title of Patroness of Impossible Causes, while in many Catholic countries, Rita came to be known as the patroness of abused wives and heartbroken women. Her incorrupt body remains in the Basilica of Santa Rita da Cascia.
THE EARLY LIFE OF ST RITA.
St Rita (Margherita Lotti) was born in 1381 in the city of Roccaporena, a suburb of Cascia near Spoleto, Umbria, Italy it was there where a global sites connected with her are the focus of pilgrimages. Her parents, Antonio and Amata Ferri Lotti, were known to be charitable and humble persons, who gained the epithet Conciliatore di Cristo (English translation, Peacemakers of Christ). According to pious reports, St Rita was extremely pursued by Gubbio but she resisted his offer. She got married at age of twelve (12) to a responsible Man called Paolo Mancini. Her parents set all the necessary arrangements for her marriage, a common practice at the time, despite her repeated request to be allowed to enter a convent of religious sisters. Her husband, Paolo Mancini, was a very rich man, He is an immoral man, who had many enemies in the region of Cascia. Rita was a child bride, married before the age of 12. The marriage lasted for eighteen years, during which she is remembered for her Christian values as a model wife and mother who made efforts to convert her husband from his abusive behaviour. Upon the murder of her husband by another feuding family, she sought to dissuade her sons from revenge. With Godly faith and mind St Rita has endured his insults, physical abuse, and infidelities for many years. According to popular tales, through humility, kindness, and patience, St Rita was able to convert her husband into a better person, more specifically renouncing a family feud known at the time as La Vendetta. St Rita eventually bore two sons, Giangiacomo (Giovanni) Antonio, and Paulo Maria, and brought them up in the Christian faith. As time went by and the family feud between the Chiqui and Mancini families became more intense, Paolo Mancini became congenial, but his allies betrayed him and he was violently stabbed to death by Guido Chiqui, a member of the feuding family.
St Rita rendered a public pardon at Paolo’s funeral to her husband’s murderers. Paolo Mancini’s brother, Bernardo, took over to have continued the feud and hoped to convince St Rita’s sons to seek revenge. Bernardo advised St Rita’s sons to vacate from their manor and reside at the Mancini villa ancestral home. As her sons grew, their behaviour began changing as Bernardo became their tutor.It was St Rita’s sons wished to avenge their father’s murder, perhaps St Rita, having that fear that her sons would lose their entire souls, tried to persuade them from retaliating, but to no avail. She prayed God to take her sons rather than submit them to possible mortal sin and murder. After all they have passed through, Her sons died of dysentery a year later, which pious Catholics hopefully believe was God’s answer to her prayer, taking them by natural death rather than risk them committing a mortal sin punishable by Hell.
It came to a certain time after the deaths of St Rita’s husband and sons, St Rita desired to enter the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene in Cascia but was eventually turned away. Peharps the convent looked unto Rita’s good character and piety, the nuns also were afraid of being associated with St Rita due to the broadcastination of her husband’s violent death. However, she persisted in her cause and was placed in a law firm before the convent could approve her acceptance: the task of setling her family with her husband’s murderers. She begged her three patron saints (John the Baptist, Augustine of Hippo, and Nicholas of Tolentino) to assist her, and she set about the meeting of reconciliation between the hostile parties of Cascia. Popular religious tales recall that the bubonic plague, which ravaged Italy at the time, infected Bernardo Mancini, causing him to relinquish his desire to feud any longer with the Chiqui family. She was able to resolve the conflicts between the families and, at the age of thirty-six, was allowed to enter the monastery. Pious Catholic legends later recount that Rita was transported into the monastery of Saint Magdalene via levitation at night into the garden courtyard by her three patron saints. She remained at the monastery, living by the Augustinian Rule, until her death from tuberculosis on 22 May 1457.
THE VENERATION OF ST RITA
Saint Rita’s tomb with her incorrupt body at the Basilica of Cascia.
The life story of St Rita was compiled by the Augustinian priest, Jacob Carelicci. St Rita was beatified by Pope Urban VIII in 1626. The pope’s private secretary, Fausto Poli, had been born some fifteen kilometers from her birthplace and much of the impetus behind her cult is due to his enthusiasm. She was canonized on May 24, 1900 by Pope Leo XIII. Her feast day is May 22. On the 100th anniversary of her canonization in 2000, Pope John Paul II noted her remarkable qualities as a Christian woman: “St Rita interpreted well the ‘feminine genius’ by living it intensely in both physical and spiritual motherhood.”
In view of that, we also see that St Rita has acquired the reputation, together with St. Jude, as a saint of impossible cases. She is also the patron saint of sterility, abuse victims, loneliness, marriage difficulties, parenthood, widows, the sick, bodily ills, and wounds. St Rita’s body, which has remained incorrupt over the centuries, is venerated today in the shrine of Cascia, which bears her name. Many people venerate her tomb every year from all over the world. French painter Yves Klein had been dedicated to her as an infant. In 1961, he created a Shrine of St. Rita, which is placed in Cascia Convent.
THE ICONOGRAPHY OF ST. RITA
A very strong and popular religious depiction of St Rita during her partial Stigmata. The artist depicts her dressed in a black Augustinian habit, which is historically inaccurate as she would have worn the brown robe and white veil of the Monastery of St Mary Magdalene from the 13th century. Various religious symbols are related to St Rita. She is depicted holding a thorn (symbol of her penance and stigmata), holding a large Crucifix, holding a Palm leaf with three crowns (representing her two sons and husband), flanked by two small children (her sons), holding a Gospel book, holding a skull (a symbol of mortality) and holding a flagellum whip (a symbol of her mortification of the flesh).
ST. RITA DEMANDED FOR ROSES
It is well noted that near the end of her life St Rita was bedridden at the convent. While visiting her, a cousin asked if she desired anything from her old home. Rita responded by asking for a rose from the garden. It was January, and her cousin did not expect to find one due to dry season. However, when her relative went to the house, a single blooming rose was found in the garden, and her cousin quickly brought it back to St Rita at the convent. St. Rita is often holding roses or with roses nearby. On her feast day churches and shrines of St. Rita provide roses to the general congregation that are blessed by the priest during Mass.
HE FOREHEAD WOUND OF ST.RITA
It came to pass when St Rita was sixty years of age, she was meditating before an image of Christ crucified. Suddenly, a small wound appeared on her forehead, as though a thorn from the crown that encircled Christ’s head had loosened itself and penetrated her own flesh. It was generally considered to be a partial Stigmata and she bore this external sign of union with Christ until her death in 1457. At the period of her death, the sisters of the convent bathed and dressed her but the wound remained the same, with the glistening light reflected from the drops of blood. Her body showed no signs of deterioration. Over several years, her body was exhumed two more times. Each time, her body appeared the same. She was declared an incorruptible after the third exhumation. Relics were taken at that time as is the custom in the Catholic Church in preparation and declaration for sainthood.
During that period In the parish church of Laarne, near Ghent, Belgium, there is a statue of St. Rita in which several bees are featured. This depiction originates from the story of her baptism as an infant. On the day after her baptism, her family noticed a swarm of white bees flying around her as she slept in her crib. Perhaps, the bees peacefully entered and exited her mouth without causing her any harm or injury. Instead of being alarmed for her safety, her family was mystified by this sight. According to Butler, this was taken to indicate that the career of the child was to be marked by industry, virtue, and devotion.
THE LEGACY OF ST.RITA
According to documentation A large sanctuary of St. Rita was built in the early 20th century in Cascia. The sanctuary and the house where she was born are among the most active pilgrimage sites of Umbria.
More so, French singer Mireille Mathieu adopted St. Rita as her patron saint on the advice of her paternal grandmother. In her autobiography, Mathieu describes buying a candle for Rita using her last franc. Though Mathieu claims that her prayers were not always answered, she testifies that they inspired her to become a strong and determined woman.
In 1943, St.Rita of Cascia, a film based on Rita’s life, was made starring Elena Zareschi. The story of St.Rita massively increased in popularity due to a 2004 film Santa Rita da Cascia, filmed in Florence, Italy. The latter film altered the facts of Rita’s early life.
Finally, St.Rita is often recommended as the unofficial patron saint of baseball due to a reference made to her in the 2002 film The Rookie.