From a young age, Rita embodied the virtues of obedience, patience, forgiveness, and hope. She lived in 15th-century Italy—the time immortalized by Romeo and Juliet, when noble families were embroiled in wars and vendettas against each other.
Rita wished to become a nun, but in obedience to her parents, married a man from one of Italy’s noble families. Her husband was not a man of faith and treated her harshly, but she practiced such sweetness and deference to him that he eventually grew kinder.
After his death—as well as the deaths of their two sons—Rita asked to enter the Augustinian monastery nearby. At first, she was denied entrance, but when she was miraculously transported into the enclosure one night, the Augustinians quickly welcomed her into the novitiate. It was clear that God wanted her to be consecrated to Him!
Rita’s close relationship with God deepened still further in her monastic life. She frequently meditated on the Passion of Christ and was granted visions and ecstasies while she prayed.
During one of these ecstasies, Rita received the stigmata. The holy wound appeared in the form of the Crown of Thorns. Unlike the stigmatas of other saints, Rita’s was accompanied by a horrible smell—a true humiliation. In order to spare her sisters from the smell, Rita became a hermit.
For the rest of her life, Rita lived in solitude, enduring her stigmata and growing ever closer to God. After her death in 1457, her stigmata’s stench vanished and was replaced with a sweet aroma.
St. Rita faced many thwarted dreams and hopeless circumstances throughout her life, but her unshakeable faith in God helped her overcome every situation. Now, she’s eager to help all of us in every impossible cause. Ask her for her intercession with our St. Rita Impossible Causes Decade Rosary. Handcrafted and accompanied by a prayer card, this decade rosary will be your go-to in any difficulty. Available only at The Catholic Company!