Thursday, May 22, 2014

Christ made her heart His!

   ...the LORD is my portion ...He is good to those 
 whose hope is in Him... Lamentations 3:24, 25


"Christ Jesus had stolen the heart of Rita –
He alone possessed it. He made her heart His heart;
and under the white veils of the Eucharist He was for her soul,
as He is for all loving hearts, heaven upon earth.


 How sweet is the moment
in which poor humanity, wearied and afflicted,
may remain alone, with Jesus alone, in the Sacrament of Love;
for there the Lord, with His flaming heart open, calls unto all,
'You that are burdened and heavy laden,
come unto Me and I will refresh you.' "

Fr M.J. Corcoran, OSA
Our Own St Rita:  A Life of the Saint of the Impossible

St Rita of Cascia
Italy ~ 1381-1457
Wife, Mother, Augustinian Nun
Stigmatist, Incorrupt
Patron of Impossible Cases*
*especially matrimonial difficulties
FEAST DAY - May 22


The saint of Cascia belongs to the great host of Christian women who "have had a significant impact on the life of the Church as well as of society" (Apostolic Letter Mulieris dignitatem, n. 27). Rita well interpreted the "feminine genius" by living it intensely in both physical and spiritual motherhood. " ~ Saint John Paul II


From an early age Rita desired to become a nun, but her parents thought it best for her to marry. She suffered through a difficult marriage for 18 years, with an abusive, ill tempered husband. He converted shortly before his political murder. Their twin sons wanted to avenge his death.  When St. Rita learned that her sons planned to avenge their father's murder, she prayed to God to save them from committing such a grievous sin.  Almost immediately, both boys fell ill. She nursed them lovingly, and they both died, reconciled with God.

Now a widow and childless, St. Rita applied for admission to the Augustinian convent in Cascia, but was refused because its rule only permitted virgins. After much prayer and entreaty, an exception was finally granted to her and she was allowed to enter in 1413. The story is told that St. Rita was miraculously transported into the monastery itself, despite its locked doors; when the nuns found her there in the morning, they allowed her to stay, taking it as the will of God.

St Rita had a deep devotion to the passion of Christ and the Holy Eucharist. She spent many hours in Eucharistic Adoration daily. Confined to her bed the last four years of her life, she consumed little more than the Eucharist.  Near the end of her life, she had a visitor from her home town who asked if she'd like anything.  Rita's only request was a rose from her family's estate. The visitor went to the home, but it being January, knew there was no hope of finding a flower; but there, sprouted on an otherwise bare bush, was a single rose blossom.

St Rita was a stigmatist who suffered a wound of Christ on her forehead.  When St. Rita died her face became beautifully radiant and her cell was aglow with heavenly light, while the great bell of the monastery rang of itself. Her incorrupt body, which for several centuries gave off a sweet fragrance, is preserved in a shrine in Italy.  It is said that at her beatification, the body of the saint raised itself up and opened its eyes. St. Rita is called "The Saint of the Impossible" and is particularly invoked in cases of matrimonial difficulties.

St. Rita of Cascia was the first woman to be canonized in the Great Jubilee at the beginning of the 20th century, on May 24, 1900.
St Rita of Cascia, pray for us!

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