Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Monday, May 22, 2017

What Made Rita of Cascia a Saint?

Today May 22, we remember Saint Rita; a great saint born in 1381, faithful wife, tender mother, and the one we ask her assistance and prayers for impossible cases. May the Lord bestow his healing on so many sick people both physically and spiritually through her intercession, and may He bless all especially those that carry her name.
The question what made Rita a saint is quite asked today since many young adults are without jobs in their careers or even in their interest, which could lead them to disappointment, failure and possibly suicide. Sick people are hardly able to find good care whether in medical clinics or in hospitals. The media talk mostly about bad news and bad relations even though the Internet should have brought more people together. On the social level, the family is under attack especially in the advanced West with sexual promiscuity, legalized abortion, and legal recognition of same-sex marriage created by radical feminism , Economically the poor are getting poorer while the very few rich are getting much richer. This is the reverse of how Rita as a person lived.
Since early age Rita dreamed of becoming a religious nun, but her parents got her married to a man who subsequently became notoriously violent and unfaithful. She accepted her parent's decision, endured her husband's insults and infidelity, and prayed for her husband to change his way of life bringing him at the end to repentance. With the above, she was able to raise her two twin kids in a Christian atmosphere. Her husband was dealing with a sort of mafia when he was murdered in a vendetta. Rita publicly forgave his murderers but her sons wanted to avenge the brutal murder of their father. As she prayed for them, they both died of dysentery a natural death a year later before they could accomplish their vengeful act.
After the death of her husband and children, Rita desired to join the monastery of St.Mary Magdalene in Cascia but fearful of being associated with Rita due to the scandal of her husband's violent death, the nuns refused unless she could obtain a reconciliation between the hostile parties in Cascia. With prayers Rita was able to resolve the conflicts between the families and at the age of thirty-six was allowed to enter the convent where she excelled at living the Augustinian Rule of care. She was seen levitating while in prayer as she asked Christ to give her a share in his passions. So close to Christ was this woman that her request was answered as thorn on her forehead. She died from tuberculosis on May 22, 1457. Miracles attributed to her intercession caused her beatification by Pope Urban VIII in 1626. She was canonized by Pope Leo III on 24, 1900. On the 100th anniversary of her canonization in 2000, St. John Paul II noted her remarkable qualities as a Christian woman. "Rita interpreted well the 'feminine genius' by living it intensely in both physical and spiritual motherhood" said the holy Pope. St. Rita has acquired the universal reputation, together with St. Jude,  as a saint of impossible cases. Her body remains incorrupted and is preserved intact in a shrine in Cascia. How much we really need her today. She carried the cross and followed Christ. Can we imitate her?

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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