Saint Rita of Cascia (1381-1457)
for May 22
Saint Rita of Cascia showed an interest in religious life as a young woman, but was betrothed instead, at the wish of her parents. Rita bore her husband twin sons, but he was a violent and cruel man. Even though her husband was not the man of her dreams, Rita tried to be a good wife, a loving mother, and receive the Sacraments as often as she could. After almost 20 years of marriage, Rita's husband was stabbed to death by an enemy. Not long after her husband's murder, Rita's sons passed away as well. Alone, she filled her days with good works, prayers, penances, and fasting. She joined a convent of Augustinian nuns and was an example of obedience and charity. Rita was extremely devoted to the Passion of Christ. One day she prayed, "Please let me suffer like you, Divine Savior." Immediately after her prayer, one of the thorns from the crucifix she was praying in front of punctured her forehead. Her forehead displayed a deep wound which did not heal and caused her pain and suffering for the rest of her life. Saint Rita of Cascia is the patroness of impossible causes, victims of spousal abuse, and widows.
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Despite the difficulties and violent hardships of her life, Saint Rita was a devoted wife and mother. She loved all those in her life and, above all, loved God. She saw her suffering as an opportunity to more wholly understand, love, and be united with God. Think of the suffering in your own life. Imagine that, through it, you are experiencing the suffering of Christ. Imagine that he is suffering with you now. Know that he loves you deeply.
Dear Jesus, please allow me to join you in your suffering as you join me in my suffering. Help me to more fully know your love.