► Novena to Saint Rita: let’s entrust our biggest worries to her. Join this novena proposed by the Hozana site, the prayer network. Every day, from Sunday May 14 and for nine days, listen to a meditation on an episode in the life of Saint Rita and a testimony of graces received.
Margarita, colloquially nicknamed Rita, was born to elderly parents in 1381 in Cascia, Umbria (central Italy). Raised in the Christian faith, unable to read or write, she is devoted to her parents whom she takes care of on a daily basis.
It was around the age of 14 that she expressed her desire to become a nun. But her parents have other plans for her. They intend it for a man, called Paolo, of a better off condition than theirs. In the village, his reputation is known: bon vivant, drinker, brutal. At the beginning, Rita protests against this marriage project then finally she submits to the parental decision, seeing in it the will of God.
For 18 years, she opposes fits of anger, blows, cries of her husband with unfailing patience and gentleness. Along her Way of the Cross, she often fasts and prays for her alcoholic husband. In the village, she is nicknamed with admiration “the woman without resentment”.
The day arrives when she gives birth to twins. From then on, and against all expectations, Paolo’s character softened. He comes to repent and ask forgiveness from his wife for the inhuman treatment he made her endure. Their married life takes a softer and more peaceful turn.
Some time passes before Paolo’s past catches up with him. Enemies, whom he had mounted against him, decide to ambush him to settle his account definitively. As the stabs rain down, he forgives his assailants for their crime. Rita also forgives her husband’s killers.
But his two sons, hot-blooded and quick-tempered like their father once were, plan revenge. Their mother tries to bring them back to their senses. In vain. She then turns to God to ask him to take them back to him rather than turn them into criminals… Some time later, the twins fall ill and are converted on their deathbed. Rita sets out to reconcile the rival clans in the village. Without a family, she can finally apply for the monastery of Cascia.
Birth of a popular cult
She will live an intense mystical life there and will receive the stigmata of the Passion of Christ. She is often represented with her forehead marked by a thorn from the crown of Christ. Upon his death, miracles multiplied at his tomb, giving rise to a popular cult that spread rapidly. Her reputation for holiness largely predates the recognition of the Church, which will not canonize her until 1900. Saint Rita received the title of “saint of desperate causes.”
Prayer to Saint Rita
Under the weight of pain, I turn to you Saint Rita, so powerful with God, with the certainty of being heard.
Free my poor heart from the anxieties that oppress it and restore peace to my overwhelmed spirit.
You who have been established by God as the advocate of hopeless causes, obtain for me the grace I ask for.
(to express the favor one desires)
If my sins constitute an obstacle to the fulfillment of my prayers, obtain for me the grace of repentance and forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation.
Don’t let me shed tears of bitterness any longer.
O Lord, reward my hope in You and I will make known everywhere the greatness of Your mercy towards the afflicted.
O Rita, admirable spouse of the Crucified who gave you one of the thorns of her crown, help me to live well and to die well.