St. Rita of Cascia: Patron Saint of the Impossible


St. ritaMay 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 arduous 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 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 12.  St. Rita did so in obedience to them.  Adding to her disappointment, the man she married 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, 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. 

 

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 has special interests in theology, Thomistic philosophy, & politics. She holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics & currently works on copywriting and social media for The Catholic Company.
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123 Responses to St. Rita of Cascia: Patron Saint of the Impossible

  1. Sylvia says:

    Saint Rita, I pray for your help. Please help me save my marriage, my family, and my husband. Saint Rita, please help my husband with his struggles,help him be a loving faithful husband, a loving father, and a good provider. Please save my marriage and family. Let him see what he has and not what he doesn’t have in his life. Thank you.

  2. Diana says:

    Dearest St Rita,

    As I pray to you every morning, you give me strength to endure what needs to be done daily and I try with remember how our Lord would handle situations. I pray I can try to be an somewhat an example. Thru you, dearest St. Rita, I seek that you may thru your divine powers and miracles, help my spouse find employment that will last and be financially ok. Again, thank you for always helping me and others thru your intercession with thy crucified Christ. Amen

  3. Janelle says:

    Thank up you Saint Rita for hearing and answering my prayers. Thank you for going before God with my petitions. Thank you for showing me that the door is open for this opportunity to go abroad, for shedding light and moving things to make it happen.

    You are the saint of my miracles.

  4. Paula says:

    Saint Rita, I pray for your intercession for the speedy arrival of my work permit which has been severely delayed for the past two weeks. I am in danger of losing my job and my home without the proper documentation to be able to work in the US. Please guide the carrier who is in possession of my work permit to deliver it safely as soon as possible. I pray as a sinner asking for your mercy for this miracle in your name to happen, with the intercession of Mother Mary. Amen.

  5. Melanie says:

    St. Rita,
    As promised I am thank you for answering my prayers. I promised to you that I would let all know the power your prayer brings. St. Rita, you heard me and answered me. I will be forever grateful.

  6. Janelle says:

    Sweet Saint Rita,

    The miracle worker. I thank you so much for interceding and allowing me to be fertile and quickly and easily conceive a baby. You go beyond all doctors advisements and the physical body.
    Thank you for allowing x to enter my life and father and parent our child together.
    If I thanked you all the days of my life, it would not be enough. I will start right now and here, deep thanks and gratitude for you blessings and intercession.

    Thank You God for hearing Saint Rita and blessing me with this gift, this life from above.

  7. Janelle says:

    Please dont let me get arrested based on allegations made by my teen and ex-husband. Let them realize the magnitude of their actions and right the wrong today. Or let the police drop the matter altogether. Please heal my family and mend my daughter s relationship with me. My heart is broken and i need a miracle today.

  8. SUSAN says:

    Please Bless my grandaughter she has ushers which is total hearing loss she is doing good with her hearing aids,also she could loss her eye sight as she get older. Please pray for her –My lord and my God need your help.

  9. JoAnn O'Connor says:

    Please intercede for my daughter, Kristin. Please ask our Lord to heal her physically and spiritually. Have her body absorb those blood clots and stop producing more. Most of all, that He brings her peace, comfort, strength and a greater love and understanding of Him. Thank you, St. Rita, for your prayers.

  10. Belinda says:

    Saint Rita,

    I am thankful for the times you have helped me and interceed in prayer for me. I am greatful for the peace I have when praying to you. Saint Rita, I pray to you again for your help. Please help me save my family and and my husband. Please help my husband with his inner struggles,help him be a loving faithful husband, a loving father, and a good provider. Please help him with his work. He is surrounded by evil and many who want to remove him from his position. Please surround him with prayer to protect him from those who intend to cause him harm and to peace to make the right choices. Please continue to pray for me and my family Saint Rita.

  11. carol says:

    Dear St. Rita,
    My son Brian needs your help. His job puts him under much stress which is affecting his health. Find him another position in the company. He is such a good husband and father.
    Please St. Rita pray for him.

  12. Samantha says:

    Saint Rita,

    I pray that you help me in this time of need. I ask you through the hands of God allow for a miracle to work in my favor. I am enduring so pain, fear, and hurt. I pray that I be given the strength I need to get through my situation. Saint Rita please hear my prayers.

  13. Ogey says:

    St Rita please pray for me because I’m hurting and in pains.my dad is seriously sick(we both have an incurable disease),my siblings and i are not prospering,my marriage is hitting the rocks(my husband doesn’t care anymore).in fact,I’m loosing it and very confused at the moment.I pray that God would have mercy on my poor soul,forgive my sins,hear and answer my prayers because i put all my trust in him.Amen

  14. Christine says:

    St Rita,

    You helped me several years ago with my bad back. God performed a Miracle for me through your prayers to Him. I have a new request. I’m tired of being alone. I can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to live the rest of my life alone. I want to have someone to share it with me. I thought Victor was the one. Perhaps he is still and I need to be patient. If he is the one, please show him. If he isn’t, then I hope and pray I will find someone soon. Thank you for prayer to God for me on my behalf. I hope and pray God will answer this prayer as well. Thank you St. Rita. If my prayer is answered, this promise I make now will be that the person that is brought into my lives, we will both take a trip to see your shrine. Thank you Christine

  15. Marianela says:

    Dear Saint Rita,

    I am reminded of what a powerful miracle worker you are when I pray to you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for answering my prayers, hearing my sorrows, disappointments, and trials.

    You go before The Lord who receives it and answers my prayers.

    Thank you for belief.

  16. pearl says:

    Dear St. Rita, my boy is 8 years old today. I pray you to thank Jesus for his life. I pray u help me to raise him in the fear of God. Grant him a long and healthy life in Jesus name. Amen. Thank you St. Rita!!!

  17. ona says:

    Dear St. Rita, my boy is 8 years old today. I please pray you to thank Jesus for his life. I pray that you help me bring him and his siblings up in the fear of God. I pray that you grant him long life, good health and success in Jesus name. Amen

  18. san says:

    Dear St. Rita, Please help me in my helpless case…Where I can see nothing good I ask for you help trusting you…Please help me reconcile with the love of my life…Please get him back to me.. I trust you St. Rita and there is nothing impossible with God. I ask in the name of Christ. Amen

  19. Mary says:

    St.Rita,
    Please send my prayers through your intercession to Jesus’ Immaculate Heart. My marriage is in trouble and my husband is bound by addiction. Please cleanse both of us with His Precious Blood. Thank you St. Rita.

  20. John says:

    Thank you St. Rita for prayers answered!

  21. anonymous says:

    st rita like the way u changed ur husband through prayer please pray for my allwyn too and change him

  22. Marie says:

    Thank you, St. Rita, for your intercession. The rent money I needed appeared. Help me to get my car payments caught up and to get the new job that I can work with my current job.

  23. Marianela says:

    Saint Rita,

    Divine Holy mother, thank you for interceding so that I become the wife and mother that I want to be. You answer my prayers with the exact timing , place, and people for their fulfillment.

    Thank you for fulfilling my earnest and true desires to be a wife and mother,
    You go before the One and all is answered divinely.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you

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