Rita da Cascia, the ''Saint of the Impossibilities''
Umbria has been defined the ''Factory of the Saints'', a territory where figures,
who became real icons of devotion, flourished. One of the most known and
worshipped ones is without any doubt Santa Rita da Cascia, the ''Saint
of the Impossibilities''.
Thousands of believers go every year on a pilgrimage to Cascia to render the
proper recognition to the life, the works and the miracles of a saint who is
considered more than any other near to the most pure forms of popular
The day of her feast, the 22nd May, is most awaited by the community
of the believers who identify with the Christian values for which Rita da
Cascia, mother and wife, is bearer of and symbol for mercy, humanity,
comprehension and charity.
Of Santa Rita da Cascia's life we know little or nothing, and a great deal of the
information that have come to us is the result of the revision of the down
Rita Mancini was born at Roccaporena around 1380. Despite her
will to make her way a monastic one she followed the wishes of her family and
married with 15 years a rough, quarrelsome and violent man. Involved in shady
deals and dubious friendships Rita's husband got murdered. His sons began to
harbour thoughts of revenge. Rita tried in all ways to dissuade them from their
mad plans. As she didn't achieve any result she prayed to God to welcome them
in His arms before they could stain themselves with such a horror. Her demand
Wife and mother no more, she decided to go in the convent of the Augustines,
but wasn't accepted there due to rule which prohibited the entrance of widows.
The down handed tradition reports that after the repeated refusals which were
so contrary to her wish to take part in the monastic life she was transported
there in flight by her three saint protectors, St John the Baptist, St
Augustine and St Nicola da Tolentino. At this point she was
Rita spent her life in the convent
completely under the sign of humility, dutifulness and the stigmata she
received about 15 years before her death. A spine of Jesus Christ's thorn crown
stuck in her forehead and forced her to a life of great suffering and
segregation until her death on 22nd May 1457.
Her beatification goes back to 1627, while she was proclaimed saint on the 26th May 1900 by pope Leo XIII.
The veneration of Saint Rita is still very fervent and heartfelt in the
believing people and this is continually shown by them and given evidence of
every year by the great stream of visitors who crowd around the urn that keeps
Many commentators agree on the assertion that the spontaneous character of the
devotion rendered to the saint is to be looked for in the immediacy and the
simplicity of her message, result of her life experiences as mother and wife.
These aspects bring her nearer to the simple people, who ask for her
intercession for every kind of problem in the daily and family life, but also
for sorting out entangled and seemingly unsolvable situations, chronic and
incurable diseases, in short for every case which seems to be ''impossible'' to
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