Who is Saint Rita?
Saint Rita, patron saint of desperate causes

Saint Rita, patron saint of desperate causes

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Who is Saint Rita?

The youth of Saint Rita

Margaret Mancini, better known as Saint Rita, was born in May 1381 in Roccaporena, Italy.

Sister Rita is the only daughter of Antonio Mancini and Amata Ferri.

According to legend, the day after Margaret's baptism, a colony of white bees swarmed around her as she slept in the cot. The bees put honey in her mouth. Her parents and relatives were surprised at what had just happened.

Sister Rita's family life

At the age of 16, Saint Rita begged her parents to let her enter a convent. But her parents were against it. In 1399, she was forced to marry a young local nobleman named Paul Mancini. Some time after her marriage, she became pregnant and gave birth to twins, Jacques-Antoine and Paul-Marie.

Her impulsive and brutal husband had made many enemies in the region. Saint Rita spent 18 years of her life praying for her husband to calm down, without success. He was murdered in 1412.

After her husband's death, Rita continued to devote herself to her two children who were determined to avenge their father's death. Their mother tried to dissuade them and turned to God, asking him to take their lives rather than end up murdered like their father. It was then that 6 months later both children died, swept away by the plague epidemic.

The religious life of Saint Rita

Her entry into the convent

In 1420, finding herself alone, Saint Rita wanted to enter a convent. At first the convent did not want to accept her because she was a widow. Moreover, her family and that of her husband's murderer were not reconciled. Sister Rita insisted strongly, and the convent agreed on one condition: to reconcile her family with those of the murderer. With a lot of perseverance, Rita succeeded. She was admitted to the monastery of St. Mary Magdalene in Cascia, Italy. She remained with the nuns until her death in 1457.

Sister Rita had a complicated and sad life. After a sermon, she asked God to make her share in the sufferings of Christ in her flesh. Then her wish was granted, a thorn from the crown of Christ before which she was praying would fall and become fixed on her forehead. This is why Saint Rita is depicted with a wound on her forehead.

At the age of 76, on her deathbed, Saint Rita asked her cousin to go and pick a rose for her, this episode is at the origin of the numerous representations of Saint Rita accompanied by roses. On 22 May 1457 Rita was taken to heaven.

Key dates

  • She was beatified in 1628 by Pope Urban VIII

  • She was canonised on 24 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII

  • She is celebrated on 22 May.

Why pray to Saint Rita?

St. Rita is one of the most prayed. She is called upon in all circumstances.

When we pray to Saint Rita, we ask her to intercede on our behalf with God. We do not pray to Saint Rita but to the Lord through this great Saint.

Saint Rita lived through great and painful trials in her life, especially in her married life. Even in the greatest of distresses, she kept her faith. She is therefore often prayed to for marital problems or for difficult situations. She is the patron saint of hopeless causes, couples and illnesses. People turn to her when there is no hope. Crossing Italy on foot in difficult conditions after the death of her husband and two children, she became the patron saint of travellers.

Prayer for Saint Rita

Saint Rita, we come to you to thank you for your faith and dedication to Jesus Christ.

We thank you for your example of reconciliation and forgiveness, for your constant prayer for peace in families and for your intercession for hopeless causes.

We ask you to help us follow your example by loving our enemies and asking for reconciliation.

We ask you to help us find peace and reconciliation in our own lives and in the relationships around us.

We ask you to help us live our lives with confidence in your intercession and protection.

We thank you for all the blessings you have given us and we entrust our lives and our souls to you.


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