St. Rita Feast Day, St. Rita Day May 22nd

Saint Rita of Casica

Every saint has a 'feast day'. Most feast days are the day of the year that saint died, especially if they gave up their lives for their faith as a martyr. Although not a martyr, Saint Rita is known for her many sacrifices in life as an abused wife, as a mother, as an invalid. She is known as the Saint of the Impossible because many of her successes surrounded the seemingly impossible.

Feast Days of the Saints are not necessarily Holy days. Holy days are commemoration of the sacred mysteries and events recorded in memory of the Virgin Mother Mary of Christ and His Apostles, martyrs and saints. These days are set aside by special services and rest from work. Most feast days of the saints merely honor that saint's sacrifices and actions during his or her life on earth. Saints were holy people who lived extraordinary lives. Every saint responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts in sacrifice or to benefit others.

The early Christian custom of commemorating martyrs on the dates of their death (or 'birth into heaven'; Latin 'dies natalis' meaning 'day of birth') became a way of organizing the Catholic Church's Liturgical Year by associating each day with one or more saint.

The symbol most often associated with the life of St. Rita is the rose. On The Feast of St. Rita Churches and Shrines of St. Rita, Cascia provide roses blessed by the priest during Mass to the congregation.

One story of St. Rita tells that St. Rita often gave food to the poor against her husband's wishes. She concealed loaves of bread beneath her robe and once when her husband confronted her he tore her robe open only to discover the loaves she carried had become roses. The rose is considered a symbol of God's love for Saint Rita and her ability to intercede on behalf of desperate or impossible causes.

Another story of Saint Rita's
Miracles involves her devotion to the Suffering Christ. Pictures of Saint Rita most often show her holding a Crucifix because a thorn fell from a replica of the Suffering Christ and pierced St. Rita's forehead; the Stigma which bled for fifteen years before her death. The wound was said to have festered and gave off a putrid odor which caused her to ask to be confined to her room. The nuns in the Monastery of Mary Magadalen initially objected to her presence on the pretense her dead husband's enemies might invade the convent. When the patron saints of St. Rita provided her access into the convent, the nuns could not deny her and over the years they grew to love her. In the final years of her life St. Rita was bed ridden. Still, St. Rita, Saint of the Impossible Causes, incurable illness and abusive relationships taught and prayed, offering aid however she could from her bed in the confines of her room until her death on May 22, 1457.

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