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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 religiosity.
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.

The life
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 handed tradition.

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 was satisfied.

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 accepted.

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 her remains.

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 resolve.
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The Basilica di Santa Rita da Cascia - The Basilica di Santa Rita is a very recent work, it was built in nine years, from 1938 to 1947. It rises in place of a sacred building from the 16th cen... Cascia_country_houses
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