Rita of Cascia was a wife, mother, widow, and member of a religious community. Her holiness was reflected in each phase of her life.
St. Rita of Cascia, whose feast is celebrated on May 22, was born at Rocca Porena, Italy, about the year 1386, and died at Cascia in the year 1456. Her parents opposed her desire to become a nun, and persuaded her to marry a man who, in a short time, lost his reputation on account of his cruelty. After being converted from his wicked ways, he was murdered by an enemy. Rita’s two sons then resolved to take revenge, but through her prayers they repented.
After their death, she applied several times for admission into the Augustinian Convent at Cascia. Repeatedly refused until God Himself cleared away all obstacles, she entered the convent, made her profession and lived the life of a holy and devout Religious for forty-two years, “a shining example of every Christian virtue, pure as a lily, simple as a dove, and obedient as an angel.”
That “God is wonderful in His Saints” is easily proved in the life of St. Rita, and, owing to her great number of miracles, she is often styled “The Saint of the Impossible.”
Beatified in 1626, Rita was not canonized until 1900. She has acquired the reputation, together with Saint Jude, as a saint of impossible cases. Many people visit her tomb each year.