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
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