As a child, St. Rita (1377-1457) wanted to be a nun. Her parents, however, forced her into an unhappy marriage when she was twelve. She bore twin sons while living with an abusive husband. The husband was killed in a vendetta, and both her sons died before they could get revenge. Following that, Rita became an Augustinian nun. This statue employees three symbols associated with Rita. In one story, the superior of Rita’s convent tells her to take a dead stick, plant it, and tend it. Every day for years, Rita waters and tends the dead stick until one day it begins to grow into a grape vine. To this day, the grapes from that vineyard are used to make a wine that is served to the pope, and leaves from the vines are used for healing. It is this story that, in part, made Rita the patron of those who pursue difficult goals. A second story tells that when Rita was born, a swarm of bees appeared, some flying in and out of her mouth, none hurting her. The bees and their honey are symbols of purity and sanctity. A third story holds that as Rita was dying in the middle of winter, she asked an attendant to get her a rose. The attendant knew the request was absurd, but went off into the garden, and there grew a single rose, which she gave to Rita on her deathbed.
Custom made art by Hank Schlau and hand painted by his wife Karen. Made of durable material that can be displayed both indoors and outdoors.
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