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St. Rita of Cascia: Patron Saint of the Impossible

May 22, 2017 By Gretchen Filz

May 22 is the feast day of St. Rita, an Augustinian nun from 14th century Cascia, 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 aristocratic families of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines.  St. Rita mourned her husband's death and interceded for his soul with great earnest.

Celebrating the feast of St. Rita in Cascia, Italy Celebrating the feast of St. Rita in Cascia, Italy

Rita's two young sons, in keeping with the vice of the day, talked of avenging their father's death.  She 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 pleaded with God that he would prevent 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 in hell.

God granted her prayers.  Both of her sons fell sick and died within a year in a state of grace; God intervened and prevented them 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, as had been her desire from childhood.  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 husband.  To maintain peace in the convent, 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 into the convent.  She became known as a holy and prayerful nun, often meditating on the sufferings of the crucified Christ.

The life of St. Rita of Cascia, patron saint of impossible causes

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 of her sons.

Even though her life was full of sorrows and disappointments, Rita was consoled by closely uniting herself with the sufferings of Christ.  And 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. She is also one of the Church's incorruptible saints, her body venerated at the basilica named for her in Cascia, Italy.

The incorrupt body of St. Rita at Basilica of St Rita in Cascia, Italy. The incorrupt body of St. Rita at Basilica of St Rita in Cascia, Italy.

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 known 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. 

 The life of St. Rita of Cascia, patron of impossible causes, including a prayer and novena for her intercession.

This article has been updated and was originally published in May, 2013. © The Catholic Company. All rights reserved.

Comments

Dear st.Rita you are the saint of the impossible, pls hear my prayer grant my request .I pray for my husband that he is healed completely from stress confusion loss of memory and goes back yo work fast ad normal person .and that he also leaves his,drinking habits .
Precious St Rita,Beg God for me for the AK program as i await the result for the AC.Lovely and Great God i trust in you.
Priscilla
Priscilla says
Feb 21 2019 11:12AM
please saint ritah i am so humbled by the way you handle people's cases . please intercede fot me in my relationship with my boyfriend who has lost feelings for me , he no longer trusts me and he is even at a point letting me go yet i donot want to loose ma dia... he no longer cares for me ..please intercede for me so that God can bring him back to me please .. thanks alot
anonymous
anonymous says
Feb 20 2019 9:35AM
I ask you St. Rita help my son get offer of contract as teacher and Head football coach. Also, for my daughter's marriage either to get better or make decisions that is best for her and her boys. May we merit your intervention. Amen!
adel Zoe
adel Zoe says
Feb 13 2019 2:55AM
Dearest St Rita i plead on you to help me hear from Fusi.I still do not know what suddenly happened.We had a peaceful and beautiful relationship going on.It's 3weeks now,he went mute without any reason which i know of.Like you who trusted in God and prayed for your children pleading for the prevention of the swelling of the evil in their heart to revenge or their death before committing such sin, Mydear Saint i want to hear from him even if he is not proceeding with the relationship to just be aware of what went wrong and the reason for such drastic change of mind and behaviour.I deeply trust in God's perfect will and timing.In as much as i desire to have fusi,let his will for me prevail and overide this desire.

In Jesus almight and precious name i humbly pray.Amen and Amen
Christine
Christine says
Feb 13 2019 2:17AM
Saint rita today i got another reject letter for a job and it was really painful to read it amd got me worried. I am praying that i may get a job and the same time worried that the long delay of replies may be a sogn of reject in the job applications. I dont have experience like most jobs are asking for and i dont know what other jobs to apply so i believe in your unending graces to guide and santify my intention and ask fro grace needed for me. Saint Rita pray for me
St. Rita,

Thank you so much for answering my petitions

Oh St. Rita

I come to you again to seek your help and intercession. Please help us find buyers of our land to pay off the debts of my family.

Thank you, dear St. Rita
Tenten
Tenten says
Feb 12 2019 6:10AM
Dear St.Rita,thank you for all the granted prayers !I am again asking for your intercession, that I may pass my nclex exam on the 28th so that I can practice my profession again and be of service to others..Thank you in advance!
Gikunju
Gikunju says
Feb 10 2019 9:09AM
Saint rita i did not know of your great deeds untill today. I am moved and sought to ask for your help. I need a job urgently pray for me to our Father that he may grant me that others have seen imposible for me. Help me and all those who are helping me get a job and those places i have sent my applications that i may find a job. Saint rita patron of all impossible causes i put all my trust in thee.
Claudia
Claudia says
Feb 9 2019 10:23AM
Loving Father you have answered so many of my prayers through the intercession of St. Rita. I thank you for your loving responses. My family members are still in need of conversion by the Holy Spirit. That they may reconcile with You, the Holy Trinity, and the Catholic Church through the holy sacraments. They also need to reconcile with one another. Please protect my family from evil. Holy Spirit fill their hearts and minds. Bring them back to Christ and His church. St. Rita, my son's need good jobs to support themselves and their families. They need good, holy Catholic wives and children to bring them joy in their lives. Drive away the despair, gloom, hatred and chaos that fills their spirits. Help my daughter to return to the Church and fulfill her obligations as a wife and mother; that my grand daughters be baptized and brought up in the faith. We need your help...temporal and spiritual. Please God Father help us in Jesus' name.
Catherine
Catherine says
Feb 7 2019 10:07PM
St Rita it looks like it is going to be a miserable day with this awful man.He is totally out of control and we cannot take anymore Wehave nowhere else to go Please help me get the means or the way to be free of him I Place All My Trust In You
Nicole
Nicole says
Feb 7 2019 12:00AM
Dear St. Rita,

Please, I beg you to intercede in our lives to heal our sweet, loving, beautiful dog, Layla Fiocco. She has been bravely and courageously battling cancer and is now in the ER with a fever, pancreatitis, a possible infection, elevated kidney numbers and possible bleeding. We are very scared- we are terrified and NEED our girl to heal and come home with us; we need her to be happy and healthy again. She is such a wonderful, sweet, kind and loyal dog who loves life and loves everyone she meets. And everyone loves her right back.

The doctors are really scaring us and I pray that you, Dear St. Rita, will intervene on Layla's behalf to heal her from these serious ailments and make her healthy, happy and strong again. She is a WONDERFUL friend. She is my best friend. She deserves another chance at life. She deserves to be happy and healthy and wag her tail and play with her family and friends. We all LOVE HER SO VERY MUCH.

Please, St. Rita, PLEASE intercede and touch Layla with your healing hand, granting her strength and wellness once again no matter what the doctors say. Please guide the doctors, nurses and technicians caring for her to make all of the correct choices on which medicines and treatments to administer to heal her completely.

Please allow Layla to heal fully and completely and be a happy, healthy dog again. Please, St. Rita, please grant sweet Layla Fiocco a full recovery from any and all illness.

In Jesus' name I humbly beg and pray these things, Amen.

Adel
Adel says
Feb 6 2019 2:10AM
Dearest St Rita please intercede to God for me to hear from Fusi soonest.I dont know what suddenly happened that he went so quiet for a while now.Please i really what to hear and know what is going on.Please help me too to make it in the power energy program as i await the final results.I equally commit the Ak in your hands interceed to God for me.In him i put my every trust and hope to make it.Thank you most precious Saint.
Judith
Judith says
Feb 5 2019 5:55AM
Dear St. Rita, please pray for me for a God fearing, kind and loving and a Catholic life partner,in Jesus mighty name. Amen. Thank you so much.
Marie
Marie says
Feb 5 2019 2:30AM
Dear Saint Rita, I would like to thank you with all my heart the grace that you have given to me. Thank you for listening to my prayers. I will always share your prayers to people so that they know you better. Once again thank you for all our help. Saint Rita of Impossible pray for us, Saint Rita of Helplessness pray for us.
Leslie
Leslie says
Feb 2 2019 9:37PM
My husbands job is precarious and I am terrified of him losing his job. There are new layoffs and problems. Please pray that God will guide us and miraculously provide a new better job that will keep us from having financial troubles again. Please St. Rita pray for us.
Annoynamous
Annoynamous says
Feb 2 2019 5:46PM
Dearest ST Rita

Please ST Rita help all who call upon you in Jesus holy name. Please guide and protect all the young people from evil doings. Please fill everybody's heart with the holy spirit. Please help all who are suffering from different illnesses. Please give them strength in body and positive thoughts. Please help all who suffer from axiety please please help my son overcome axiety. Please help my son get into tafe and find the right course to do in Jesus holy name. Please bring all who are lost back to the church please also bring my children back to the church in Jesus holy name. I LOVE YOU JESUS,MOTHER MARY ,ST JOSEPH AND ALL THE SAINTS.
St Rita - Pray for me and my husband to be blessed with a healthy, and happy child. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Thank you.
Cynthia Baria
Cynthia Baria says
Jan 31 2019 7:32AM
St. Rita please pray that we will be able to find good honest and loyal tenants. We are having some rooms in our house so that we will have income. Our present tenants are leaving and I am worried we might not be able to find good tenants again. Sta Rita we need money to support our needs. Please St. Rita help us through your intercession to ask these of Jesus .Amen
Cynthia Baria
Cynthia Baria says
Jan 31 2019 7:25AM
Dear St. Rita

Thank you very much Sta. Rita for your prayers for our family

I am fervently praying that my faith will never be broken but instead be more stronger inspite of what our family is going through presently. I ask that Lord to give us hope that He will never abandon us and that He provides.

Please for us Dolor family that we will always be one happy family that we may be able to establish our business again.

We are presently having difficulty with our finances and I hope we may be able to settles all our duties and obligations .

Most of all St. Rita please pray that God will guide us until death . Amen
Rosem
Rosem says
Jan 31 2019 6:45AM
I’ve been praying to ask St Rita’s help. Please also pray for me that our family, and all families who are estranged, can end estrangements. Help us talk, forgive and release anger & grudge holding, and love one another. Help me have humility to set aside my hurt. Help me model forgiveness. Help us really reconcile not just be fake nice. Help my family return to church and God. Save our souls and please ask God to end the evil in this world.
Marie
Marie says
Jan 31 2019 2:51AM
Dear Saint Rita please help me get a new job I am begging you to intercede with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am not happy in my job at the moment and I need a new position. Please help me also with our mortgage and help us find the money on time for the settlement this year. Help us in our financial difficulties. I will promote your prayers and novena. I know that prayers are powerful. I have faith in you as you never let me down. Please Saint Rita as a wife and mother you know what I am going through at the moment. Please help me. Holy Saint Rita pray for us Amen
Please pray St Rita that I lose this weight and be blessed with good health of mind and body.

Please pray St Rita that I be blessed with other work and be bless with a man who will truly love me guide and direct him into my life
Danielle
Danielle says
Jan 31 2019 2:34AM
Please help me during my time of need St. Rita & keep me strong to handle whatever might come my way. Please hear my prayer & help my sweet Fairbanks. Keep him safe, happy, & healthy. Pray for us, St. Rita. Amen.
St.Rita saint of the impossible.My grandmother Guillermina wants to walk again she has aortic stenosis, cataracts, osteosporosis, severe weight loss she weighs maybe 75 pounds, muscle loss and no teethe.She is in hospice care at her home.I pray for your intercession so I can rest and take a vacation while she regains all these functions and even her teeth back.May her heart be repaired, her bones and muscles strengthen and grow each day, her eyesight be restored 20/20, may she gain weight and walk again. If you have extra time I need healing too with my teeth, knees, weight, anemia issues and overall health.Thankyou for being there for all of us.I pray my 2 healings request reach you in heaven and may we merit your intervention.Amen and Amen.

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Commentary by

Gretchen Filz Gretchen Filz

Gretchen is a Lay Dominican with a passion for fostering an increase in Catholic faith and devotion through content writing and journalism. She works as a digital content writer, creator, and marketer for The Catholic Company. In addition to blogging at GetFed.com, she is also editor of the MorningOffering.com daily devotional email and author at GoodCatholic.com. She holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics and converted to the Catholic Church in 2011. She is also active in R.C.I.A., pro-life work, and various faith-based web projects.

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