Many women have prayed novenas to Saint Rita, seeking her intercession during the trials of difficult marriages. A statue of St. Rita is a well-loved sacramental during times of trial.
St. Rita lived during a time in history when family feuds and rivalries were commonplace and often resulted in violence and revenge. Her own husband was the victim of such a murder, and her sons, as was the tradition at the time, sought revenge for their father's death. St. Rita prayed that her sons would die rather than endanger their salvation by committing a mortal sin. Both sons succumbed to fatal illness before they could exact their revenge. Having lost her husband and sons, Rita followed a calling to religious life but was barred from entering because her family had been part of the terrible feud, and her entrance into the convent could have caused hard feelings. Acting as a peacemaker, Rita proactively healed the wounds between the two angry families, entered the convent, living the Rule of St. Augustine. For 15 years before she died, commencing on a Good Friday, she shared the physical pain of Christ and His crown of thorns through the supernatural appearance of a single thorn and its open wound in her forehead. Her body, almost 500 years later, is still incorrupt in its resting place.
Saint Rita is the patroness of impossible causes, difficult marriages, parenthood, and her feast day is May 22.
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