St. Rita of Cascia: Patron Saint of the Impossible


St. Rita of Cascia

May 22 is the feast day of St. Rita.  St. Rita of Cascia was an Augustinian nun from 14th century Italy. She is the patroness of impossible causes and hopeless circumstances because of her difficult and disappointing life. Through her trials God used her in remarkable ways, not only while she lived, but now from heaven she assists those who plead for her intercession for their own seemingly impossible and hopeless circumstances.

 

From an early age St. Rita desired to become a nun, but her parents insisted that she marry at the age of twelve.  St. Rita did so in obedience to them.  Adding to her disappointment, the man her parents arranged for her to marry was cruel and harsh, and she spent 18 years in a very difficult marriage.  Her husband eventually became physically abusive, yet she met his cruelty with kindness and patience.  Two sons were born to her whom she loved deeply. After many years she eventually won her husband over to greater civility and kindness.

 

In the 14th century Italy was rampant with warring families caught in a vicious circle of assassinations and bloody vendettas  (think Romeo and Juliet).  St. Rita’s family was caught up in this strife that was so entrenched in society at that time.  Her husband was murdered as a result of the  infamous rivalry between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines.  St. Rita mourned her husband’s death and interceded for his soul with great earnest.

 

Her two young sons, in keeping with the vice of the day, talked of avenging their father’s death.  St. Rita did all she could to guide her children into forgiveness, but was unable to dissuade them from their evil intentions. Prayer was her only hope. She prayed that God would change the evil swelling up in the hearts of her sons, or allow them to die before they had the chance to commit a mortal sin and in so doing be separated from God forever.  God granted her prayers.  Both of her two sons died within a year in a state of grace; they were prevented from following the evil path of their father.

 

After the death of her husband and her sons, St. Rita was all alone in the world and sought again to enter the convent.  She was turned away because of her family’s association with the civil strife; some of the sisters living in the convent were family relations of the men who were responsible for killing her St-Rita-of-Casciahusband.  To maintain peace, she was denied entry.

 

St. Rita, again facing crushing disappointment and yet another impossible situation, had recourse to prayer and the intercession of the saints.  St. Rita’s sincerity and spirit of charity and forgiveness prevailed and she was eventually granted entry.  She became known as a holy and prayerful nun, often meditating on the sufferings of the crucified Christ.

 

One day, while praying before a crucifix, St. Rita received a visible wound on her forehead.  This was a mystical yet visible mark (stigmata) of Jesus’ wound from the crown of thorns, symbolizing St. Rita’s unity with Christ in his sufferings.  She also enjoyed many mystical experiences with Christ during the forty years she lived in the convent.  She died on May 22 when she was in her seventies.

 

St. Rita certainly had a difficult life, but her heartbreaking circumstances drove her to prayer and helped her to become a holy woman. She began her work of intercession for sinners while she lived, starting with those closest to her heart.  Through her love and prayers she won the grace of conversion for her husband and both her sons.

 

Even though her life was full of sorrows and disappointments, she was consoled by being closely united with Christ.  He did not abandon her; rather He granted her profound and intimate graces.  Now a saint in heaven, St. Rita is the patron of impossible causes, sterility, abuse victims, loneliness, marriage difficulties, parenthood, widows, the sick, and bodily ills and wounds.

 

If you are facing a difficult and impossible life circumstance, you can resort to prayer after the example of St. Rita.  Below is a prayer to St. Rita as well as a novena.  You can also find medals, books, and prayer cards associated with St. Rita here, which make great gifts for those similarly facing difficult and heartbreaking life circumstances.

 

Prayer to St. Rita

 

O Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favors hast been called the Advocate of the Hopeless and even of the Impossible; St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from Him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee expecting, if not always relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee.

We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify thee by making know thy favor, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray thee grant that [here mention your request].

By the singular merits of thy childhood,
Obtain for us our request.

By thy perfect union with the Divine Will,
Obtain for us our request.

By thy heroic sufferings during thy married life,
Etc.
{repeat Obtain for us our request after each line]
By the consolation thou didst experience at the conversion of thy husband,
By the sacrifice of thy children rather than see them grievously offend God,
By the miraculous entrance into the convent,
By thy severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings,
By the suffering caused by the wound thou didst receive from the thorn of thy Crucified Savior,
By the Divine love which consumed thy heart,
By that remarkable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, 
on which alone thou didst exist for four   years,
By the happiness with which thou didst part from thy trials to join thy Divine Spouse,
By the perfect example thou gavest to people of every state of life.
Pray for us, O holy St. Rita, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

LET US PRAY.

O God, Who in Thine infinite tenderness hast vouchsafed to regard the prayer of Thy servant, Blessed Rita, and dost grant to her supplication that which is impossible to human foresight, skill and efforts, in reward of her compassionate love and firm reliance on Thy promise, have pity on our adversity and succor us in our calamities, that the unbeliever may know Thou art the recompense of the humble, the defense of the helpless, and the strength of those who trust in Thee, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

 

Novena to St. Rita


O holy protectress of those who art in greatest need, thou who shineth as a star of hope in the midst of darkness, blessed Saint Rita, bright mirror of God’s grace, in patience and fortitude thou art a model of all the states in life. I unite my will with the will of God through the merits of my Savior Jesus Christ, and in particular through his patient wearing of the crown of thorns, which with tender devotion thou didst daily contemplate. Through the merits of the holy Virgin Mary and thine own graces and virtues, I ask thee to obtain my earnest petition, provided it be for the greater glory of God and my own sanctification. Guide and purify my intention, O holy protectress and advocate, so that I may obtain the pardon of all my sins and the grace to persevere daily, as thou didst in walking with courage, generosity, and fidelity down the path of life. [Mention your request.]

Saint Rita, advocate of the impossible, pray for us. 
Saint Rita, advocate of the helpless, pray for us. 

Recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times each. 

 St. Rita of Cascia_ Patron Saint of the Impossible

_________

This blog post was first published on May 22, 2013


About Gretchen

Gretchen is a recent convert and completely in love with the Catholic faith. She is very active in her parish and has recently joined the Lay Dominicans. She holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics & currently works on copywriting, content marketing, and social media for The Catholic Company.
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321 Responses to St. Rita of Cascia: Patron Saint of the Impossible

  1. ger says:

    Dear St Rita…you can do the impossible. I pray that you will make people see the errors of their ways and vote NO to protect marriage here in Ireland on Friday 22 May. I ask this in Jesus’ name

  2. Rita Franklin says:

    Thank you St Rita for prayers answered. Praying that my daughter would get good news about her job, and, God’s will, she received a positive answer today.

    The power of prayer is strong!

  3. George says:

    Dear St Rita,
    Thank you for your help and intercession with my son not getting expelled from school today. I believe it was due to your help that the school administrators gave him a second chance.
    Thank you for your love, kindness, and comfort as I prayed for your help, and for the positive outcome of our situation with the school.
    Please continue to help me, my family, and all those who have faith in your intercession with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
    Amen

  4. Grace Lencke says:

    St Rita thank you for interceding for me and answering prayers about my marriage. I did not see the result right away but I tried to keep the faith and have confidence in your promises.

  5. justine says:

    Please help my husband that the immigration officer will ask his passport before his medical will expired. Pls help me St. Rita.

  6. ophelia says:

    Thank you St. Rita for receiving my prayers today please please I believe that you will intercede for my mother to restore her circulation in her left foot and leg so the doctors won’t remove it and heal her from a stroke and help with my faith and prayers in JESUS name Amen Thank You St. Rita

  7. Shireen says:

    St. Rita, please pray for Christians around the world. Help our Father grant us peace. Also, for guidance through school. Thank you

  8. Joanne Trees says:

    At. Rita Please pray I remain in remission and am cured from cancer. In Jesus name Amen

  9. Vincent Pereda says:

    Dear St. Rita,
    I pray and humbly ask for your intercession in my request for healing for my beloved wife who is afflicted with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. Thank You – A grateful husband.

  10. diana says:

    St Rita please pray for me and my husband please let him realize what a mistake he is making and he reconsider his decision.
    For my family

    Amen

  11. Debra Kollasch says:

    Please pray for my two sister Teresa and Linda,and my brother Charles. Thank
    You

  12. Janie Smith says:

    St. Rita I ask for your intercession for my difficult circumstance which you know what it is. I beg your intercession.

  13. Liz says:

    St Rita I humbly ask you for your blessings and intercession for my daughters. One desires to become a mother. She has suffered through two miscarriages and has a medical condition that makes pregnancy extremely high risk. Give her help, give her, with the guidance of excellent medical care, the gift of a healthy pregnancy and a beloved child. It can be achieved with your help.

    My other daughter needs your help to acquire a new job. A job that will give her a new start in life and much deserved new outlook on life. She has suffered through a difficult marriage and deserves a chance to prove that she is begining a better life and that she is worthy and loved.

    HAPPY FEAST DAY and THANK YOU

  14. Selia says:

    Please Interseed for our marriage we are in
    Very difficult time he had a affaire and I am
    Heart broken please pray for us

  15. Diane says:

    St. Rita, I ask for your powerful intercession to help me obtain a reliable means of transportation as my car is not reliable and I do not have money to make any repairs on it. I also pray for a full time job as I am working part time and struggling financially. Thank you St. Rita.

  16. analyn dayag says:

    St.Rita pls.hear my prayers..I’ve been suffering in this relationship for how many yrs.and I prayed that everything will be ok…grant also St.Rita my application to go other country for my son’s future..pls hear and answer my prayers, amen

  17. Teri says:

    Saint Rita,
    Pray that I find peace and contentment within my soul.

  18. Mary says:

    Please pray that my daughter, Cheryl and husband,Brian will conceive their first baby.

    Also, please pray for my brother, John that he is healed from his severe back pain.

    Thank you!

  19. Cynthia says:

    Saint Rita, Please pray for my marriage and for my husband to come to his senses and escape the trap of the devil and return to the joy of the wife of his youth. We have some so far after an 18 year separation. God has changed our hearts. It is time for him to move back home. I know that it is God’s will. Please let there be a breakthrough today!!
    Thank you! Happy Feast Day!!

  20. s says:

    Thank you St. Rita for answering my prayers. Please continue to bless me with your help.

  21. Patricia says:

    I pray that the financial burden placed on my 3 son’s be lifted from second wife. their father just died. Second wife wants part of their business property. Paying her taxes, and paying her loan of 100.000 dollars. I pray that my son’s are set free. I pray victory and justice for my son’s. Amen.

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