St Rita of Cascia

James 4.13-17; Psalm 48; Mark 9.38-40

St Rita (1381-1457) was born in the village of Roccaporena, in the Province of Umbria.  She was married to a rich, quick-tempered and immoral man, Paolo Mancini, to whom she bore two sons.  Rita suffered his abuses with patience and prayer and her efforts evidently paid off with Paolo’s renunciation of a family feud known as La Vendetta.  Nevertheless he was violently stabbed to death by a member of the feuding family.

At her husband’s funeral Rita gave a public pardon to his murderers.  She then sought to enter a convent, but as a condition she was required to reconcile the feuding families.  She invoked the prayers of her three patron saints—St John the Baptist, St Augustine of Hippo, and
St Nicholas of Tolentino—and she set about the task of reconciling the families of Cascia.  She succeeded in her endeavours and at the age of 36 was admitted to the convent.  (Pious legends declared that her three patron saints had levitated her over the convent walls.)  She spent the next 40 years dedicated to prayer, contemplation and service to the sick and the poor.   She is the patron of abused wives and heartbroken women.  

Posted in Daily Reflection.