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About Saint Rita

Saint Rita of Cascia

Saint Rita of Cascia was born in 1381, in Roccaporena, Italy.

On the day after her baptism, her family noticed a swarm of white bees flying around her as she slept in her crib. However, the bees peacefully entered and exited her mouth without causing her any harm or injury. Instead of being alarmed for her safety, her family was mystified by this sight.

After Rita’s husband died, she entered the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene in Cascia.

When Rita was approximately sixty years of age, she was meditating before an image of Christ crucified. Suddenly, a small wound appeared on her forehead, as though a thorn from the crown that encircled Christ’s head had loosened itself and penetrated her own flesh. It was considered to be a partial Stigmata.

On May 22, 1457 St. Rita died at the age of 75. At the time of her death, the sisters of the convent bathed and dressed her body for burial. They noticed that her forehead wound remained the same, with drops of blood still reflecting light. When her body was later exhumed, it was noted that her forehead wound remained the same, with the glistening light reflected from the drops of blood. Her body showed no signs of deterioration.

It is said that near the end of her life, Rita was bedridden at the convent. While visiting her, a cousin asked if she desired anything from her old home. Rita responded by asking for a rose from the garden. It was January, and her cousin did not expect to find one due to the season. However, when her relative went to the house, a single blooming rose was found in the garden, and her cousin brought it back to Rita at the convent. St. Rita is often depicted holding roses or with roses nearby.

Pope Leo XIII canonized Rita on May 24, 1900. Her feast day is celebrated on May 22nd. At her canonization ceremony, she was bestowed the title of Patroness of Impossible Causes. She is also the patron saint of abuse victims, loneliness, marriage difficulties, parenthood, widows, the sick, bodily ills, and wounds.

On the 100th anniversary of her canonization in 2000, Pope John Paul II noted her remarkable qualities as a Christian woman: "Rita interpreted well the 'feminine genius' by living it intensely in both physical and spiritual motherhood."

Her incorrupt body remains in the Basilica of Santa Rita da Cascia. Many people visit her tomb each year from all over the world.