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St. Rita

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Saint Rita of Cascia


Rita was born in the year of Our Lord 1386, to an older Italian couple who were known as the “Peacemakers of Jesus Christ” due to their great charity. From an early age, Rita desired to become a nun, but her parents arranged a betrothal instead, and she obediently married the man when she was still in her teens. Her husband turned out to be immoral and abusive, but for eighteen years Rita was a model of obedience, praying constantly for his soul and lovingly raising their twin sons. Just when her patience had begun to soften her husband’s cruel temperament, he was murdered by a rival family. His sons desired revenge, but Rita prayed fervently that heaven prevent them from committing such a sin, and they died of illness with the sacraments provided before they could carry out their vengeful mission. After helping to reconcile the family conflicts, Rita spent the rest of her life in an Augustinian convent. For years she experienced a recurring head wound, as if pierced by a thorn, in response to her desire to suffer as Christ did. She finally died of tuberculosis in the year of Our Lord 1457. She is known as the “Saint of the Impossible”, and a patroness of marital problems and lost causes.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 22nd

AT Rome, the holy martyrs Faustinus, Timothy, and Venustus.

In Africa, the holy martyrs Castus and AEmilius, who consummated their martyrdom by fire. St. Cyprian says that they were overcome in the first combat, but in the second God made them victorious, so that, though at first yielding to the fire, they became finally stronger than the fire.

In Corsica, St. Julia, virgin, who won her crown by being crucified.

At Comana, in Pontus, under the emperor Maximian and the governor Agrippa, the holy martyr Basiliscus, who was forced to wear iron shoes pierced with heated nails, and endured many other trials. Being at last decapitated and thrown into a river, he obtained the glory of martyrdom.

In Spain, St. Quiteria, virgin and martyr.

At Ravenna, St. Marcian, bishop and confessor.

In the diocese of Auxerre, the abbot St. Romanus, who ministered to St. Benedict in his cave. Going later to France, he built a monastery there, and leaving many disciples and imitators of his sanctity, went to rest in the Lord.

At Aquino, St. Fulk, confessor.

At Pistoja, in Tuscany, the blessed Attho, of the Vallumbrosan Order.

At Auxerre, St. Helena, virgin.

At Cassia, in Umbria, blessed Rita, a widow, and nun of the Order of Augustinians, who after being disengaged from her earthly marriage, loved only Christ, her eternal spouse.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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