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Saint Rita Statue is Reminder

It is believed that St. Rita was destined to become a saint from birth. When she was an infant her parents saw bees flying all around her, in and out of her mouth, without harming her. At the time they didn’t understand it but much later it was connected to Pope Urban VIII who beatified her, because his coat of arms has three bees in it. This presages her life as a devotee of Jesus.


She was born in 1381 in Umbria, Italy and was married at 12 years old against her wishes. She wanted to become a nun and live a contemplative live but her parents had other ideas and married her to a man who was known to be immoral. She was abused by her husband constantly during her married life and always tried to be patient and change his character and hopefully convert him. They had two sons. Her husband was finally murdered by some traitorous associates. Before he died he repented his treatment of her. Her sons wanted to take revenge on the murderers but St. Rita did not want them to commit such a sin so she prayed that they would die before they were able to do it. They died of natural causes a year later.


At this point she was free to enter a convent but they refused her because they required their inmates to be virgins. She would not give up and was finally given a condition. She could become a member if she could reconcile her family with her husband’s murderers. After she accomplished this she came to the convent for admittance but it was locked. That night her patron saints carried her inside and in the morning when she was found, and the nuns understood what had happened, she was accepted. For this St. Rita is the patron saint of impossible tasks.


St. Rita is always depicted in paintings and statues with a wound of dripping blood on her forehead. This is because, once she was admitted to the convent she prayed in front of the crucifix there everyday to also have the suffering Jesus had. One day while she was praying a thorn from the crown on the statue fell and hit her on the forehead. That wound bled for the rest of her life. Just before her death a relative visited her and asked her if there was anything she could do for her. St. Rita asked her to bring a fig and a rose from the garden of her old home. It was winter and there was no possibility that either would be there, but the cousin went anyway and found both. She brought them to St. Rita. The same rose bush, in that garden, is still blooming today.


St. Rita is the patron saint of abused women and lost causes. Her statue would be appropriate in a home for battered women. Many Catholic sport figures and fans pray to her, and even keep her medal with them, with the hope of her intercession on behalf of their team.

This article was published on Thursday 01 April, 2010.

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