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St. Rita of Cascia

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Born at Rocca Porena in the Diocese of Spoleto , 1386; died at the Augustinian convent of Cascia, 1456. Feast, 22 May. Represented as holding roses, or roses and figs, and sometimes with a wound in her forehead.

According to the "Life" (Acta SS., May, V, 224) written at the time of her beatification by the Augustinian, Jacob Carelicci, from two older biographies, she was the daughter of parents advanced in years and distinguished for charity which merited them the surname of "Peacemakers of Jesus Christ ". Rita's great desire was to become a nun, but, in obedience to the will of her parents, she, at the age of twelve, married a man extremely cruel and ill-tempered. For eighteen years she was a model wife and mother. When her husband was murdered she tried in vain to dissuade her twin sons from attempting to take revenge; she appealed to Heaven to prevent such a crime on their part, and they were taken away by death, reconciled to God. She applied for admission to the Augustinian convent at Cascia, but, being a widow, was refused. By continued entreaties, and, as is related, by Divine intervention, she gained admission, received the habit of the order and in due time her profession. As a religious she was an example for all, excelled in mortifications, and was widely known for the efficacy of her prayers.

Urban VIII, in 1637, permitted her Mass and Office. On account of the many miracles reported to have been wrought at her intercession she received in Spain the title of La Santa de los impossibiles . She was solemnly canonized 24 May, 1900.

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