The liturgical memorial of St. Rita of Cascia (1381-1457) is today. Several years ago when I was visiting a friend in Italy we visited the Benedictine monks at Norcia and by surprise, we were taken to Cascia to venerate the relics of St. Rita and imbibe the monastic house. At that time I didn’t really have a devotion to St. Rita even though her personal narrative is quite interesting; only recently two friends, independent of one another, told me of St Rita’s love and affection for honey bees. As a beekeeper I am always looking for divine intercession as I care for the bees.
Due various things in her life, Rita eventually became an Augustinian nun giving witness to the meaning of forgiveness, prayer, humility, patience, and perseverance. She dedicated her life to heroic charity and penance as she closely united herself and her life of deep suffering to Christ. Notice in the image that Rita has something in her forehead. While praying before a crucifix, St. Rita mystically received a thorn in her forehead (stigmata) from Jesus’ Crown of Thorns.
St. Rita is the patron saint of impossible causes, difficult marriages, abuse victims, and honey bees. Can we model St. Rita’s perseverance today?