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.

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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,
{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.


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

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  1. Rita says

    St. Rita, My confirmation name is Rita. Please intercede for my husband’s conversion of his soul and to restore our marriage. Our son needs us very much to be the family God wants us to be.
    Thank you St. Rita.

  2. says

    Dear saint Rita,i thank you for all your intercession prayers in the past.I come to you today,asking for your intercession for a miracle.Dear saint Rita,help me connect to the father of my daughter this week.In Jesus’ name i pray to God the father.Amen.

  3. Bunmi says

    Thank you Saint Rita for a beautiful result, your intercession truly helped and I will forever be grateful

  4. Chijioke says

    Dear St. Rita, i pray for your intercession towards my petition: better job employment for me and my siblings, better life partners for me and my siblings. God’s infinite mercy on my family. I pray earnestly for a MIRACLE before 15th October, my birthday that i will return to you in praise and thanksgiving, I pray thee o lord… Amen

  5. Regina says

    Dear St. Rita. Please help Bryan with his interview tommorrow Please have the. Holy Spirit look down upon him and bring the words needed to obtain this job so he may be able to support and bring security to his family. Praise be to. Jesus. Christ now and. Forever. Amen

  6. gracy says

    praise the lord. please please please pray for me (gracy) and my husband (peter). our marriage life is going very dry since many months.
    please pray for us and our children. my son kevin and my widowed sister in law (stella) her 2 children ( presvil and emelia)

  7. Sylvia says

    Thank you dear saint Rita for the prayers answered.I humbly ask you to continue interceding for me for all my prayer requests and heart desires,especially concerning my daughter’s performance in school and the poor performed subjects she may improve and that seems impossible for her to pass highly she may excel.In Jesus’ name i pray to God the Father.Amen.

  8. Sylvia says

    Dear saints of the impossiblities,saint Rita,Jude,Philomena and Gregory..i ask you to interceed for me for all my prayer requests and heart desires,especially good health,my work to move on well,to have an investment…home for my daughter as i pray the father agrees and we start the plan this week and above all passsing her exams highly to enable her join a good government school.In Jesus’s name i pray to the Father.Amen.

  9. aquell bautista says

    St. Rita,please help me in my daily life especially to return back my prayer book with rosary that was lost, help me to do my job well, help me to give back support and financial assistance to my family in batangas, help my husband to get a good job us to raise our child well and good health for all of us in the family, i prayer in JESUS NAME..AMEN

  10. Bee says

    Dear St Rita,

    Thank you for your help in saving my friend’s life after his horrible accident. I did not know whom to turn to and could only think of you.

    Thank you too for helping out with F’s health issues. I have faith that she will be cured.

    Yours gratefully


  11. missy says

    Dear Saint Rita,

    I recently lost someone I loved and cared for very much to someone else. She is deceiving him and I know this, please help him to realize this and come back to me who has always been kind caring truthful loving and honest. Blessed be. I pray to youe every nighnight. Please hear hear my prayers. Please help me. I feel so alone in this world. Thank you for your comfort.

  12. lucia says

    dear saint Rita patron of the impossible.. with the faith you had in God, please pray for me for the situation that i am facing right now in my life. may the God of the impossible situations have mercy on me and hear my plea. Amen

  13. shari says

    St. Rita please help . My boyfriend and father of my child has been seeing another woman . Please help and guide him back to me so we can be married and we can have our family back. I love him with all my heart .

  14. Regina says

    Dear St. Rita, Thank You for your intercession, by bringing a young family Bryan and Sarah financial security with his new job. That they will be able to support their family and have new hopes and dreams and to always remember to put God first in their lifes. I will be having a mass said to Thank You! Praise Be to Jesus Christ now and Forever Amen. I promise to sing your Praises. I am Truley Grateful for the Peace You have brought to my heart and how you have made me remember. Jesus I Trust in You!

  15. krystal says

    I would like to pray for my friends who are getting divorced. I pray that they may find a a way to work out their problems and reconcile though now it seems impossible.

    I would also like to pray that I may have an answer to a question I need answered so I can make a good decision about what I should do with my life.

    I thank you for your intercession St. Rita.

  16. Angela says

    Thank you St. Rita as the first results from my grand-daughter’s neurological visit were positive. We’re very hopeful knowing that you have asked our Lord Jesus Christ for her physical and mental health. We will continue to pray to you and sing your praises.

  17. Celeste says

    Blessed Saint Rita!

    Thank You for Your Love for Jesus Christ!

    May Your Love For Jesus Intercede for my Family in our time of need for complete Healing and Restoration in all ways both Spiritually and Physically. I Trust that though I am weak, Jesus is Strong. I Trust in the Divine Mercy of Jesus! Amen!

  18. Bob says

    St. Rita Patron Saint of the Impossible, I ask for your compassion and appeal to our Heavenly Father and His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ to intercede on your behalf for the perilous time I am going through. I ask that my daughter remain unscarred and that I not lose the fight or the battle I so desperately need to win. I promise to spread the word of your wonderful deeds that others may know the Grace and Glory of The Father and his unending love for and compassion for your requests. I further promise to make know the Miracle I have asked for to further Sanctify our Heavenly Father and Glorify HIs name.

    In Jesus name Amen.

  19. Mercy says

    Thanks for your guidance in my successful surgery today. Please continue to aid me in my petitions if it be for the greater glory of God. Saint Rita, pray for us!

  20. says

    Thank you St. Rita for the comfort you brought to my heart and helping me in my most difficult of times. Thank you for my answered prayers.

  21. Benny says

    Dear st Rita my case is now impossible I cannot pay my nursing board .I need my RN license.pls help me .my son to pass his SAT and get a part time me with my relationship with my husband and heal him and heal my marriage.Heal my DM and neuropathy Amen

  22. Rays says

    Thank you Blessed Saint Rita for hearing my prayers and for your powerful intercession for answered prayer! You truly are the Patron Saint of the Impossible!


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