Sunday 1st March 2015

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Rita Of Cascia

May 20, 2014 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

The vendetta in Italy gained a reputation as being brutal and persevering. For centuries, families would hold animosity resulting from an offense. A vendetta means a series of acts done over a long period of time to cause harm to a disliked person or group. Even in Catholic Italy of the 14th century, the vendettas were very real. Only the saintly, such as Rita of Cascia, could defuse the vendettas of her time.
In 1381, the Lotti couple, Antonio and Amata, had long hoped for a child. Finally they received a daughter to whom they gave the name Margherita, meaning pearl. They were known in their tiny village of Roccaporena in Cascia as being the Conciliatore di Cristo, or Peacemaker of Christ. Coming from noble lineage they exemplified all that is good in Christians, seeking to reconcile those at conflict and raising their daughter to be both charitable and pious.
Rita, as she came to be called, set her heart on entering the Augustinian convent at an early age, dedicating her life to God. However, as with so many other saints, her parents had other plans for her. Her father insisted that she marry a man whom he had chosen. Thus, at the very young age of 12 — according to our times — she was married to the man of her father’s choosing. Rita hoped that by obeying her parents, she was doing the will of God.
This turned out to be a considerable cross for Rita, for like the husband of St. Monica, her husband was cruel and heartless. In fact, he had the reputation of being the terror of Cascia. For 18 years Rita remained a faithful and patient wife, bearing him two sons. Sorrowfully, she watched as her two sons became more and more influenced by the bad example of her husband.
They too became violent. Rita continued to pray not only for her husband but also for the souls of her two sons. Again like St. Monica she shed many tears for their salvation. Those tears bore fruit. Her husband repented and begged her forgiveness for the many trials and injustices she suffered because of him.
But habits are not easily broken. While out drinking once again, he became involved in a brawl which resulted in death-causing injuries. As her sons witnessed the men carrying in the body of their father covered in wounds, they vowed to “bring justice” to his killers. Rita sat in prayer day after day praying that their plotting would come to no avail.
As time went on her prayer changed. She begged God to take their lives rather than allow them to carry out their vendetta. She would rather save their souls than their bodies — a mark of a mother’s true love. What St. Ambrose told St. Monica, he could have told St. Rita. Surely the many tears she shed would not allow her sons to be lost.
Her prayers were answered. Despite all their plans, they became so ill they could not carry them out. Both of her sons contracted a fever through which Rita nursed them untiringly, but with some relief knowing they could not commit the grave error they had contrived. Through her ministrations and counseling, they soon repented of their plans. They died forgiving the men who killed their father and asked the Lord for His forgiveness in turn.
Now that Rita was alone in the world with no husband, no children, and no family, she again yearned for the religious life within the walls of the Augustinian convent. Despite her application to the nuns at the Cascian convent, she was rejected on the grounds that even though she was a widow, she was not a virgin.
Again she applied, was refused, and finally on the third try her persistence was rewarded. Rita was so focused on becoming a religious that she offered to do the most menial tasks if they would but let her enter the convent. The rules were finally changed and she joyfully accepted the habit in 1413.
Rita was obedient to her parents when she married the man they chose for her. She was obedient for the 18 years of her married life. Likewise, she was obedient to her superiors in the convent. So diligently did she observe all that was asked of her that she earned the respect of her sisters in Christ.
When she was ordered to water the stump of a dead vine in the garden, she did so not just once but daily, continuing to tend it as though it were the most fruitful plant in the garden. Austerities brought her joy. If the rule was relaxed in any way, Rita would still practice the stricter sacrifices and even, with permission, go beyond them.
Despite these penances, she did not become cantankerous. Rita remained cheerful and charitable, always willing to care for any of her colleagues. She offered her prayers and sacrifices for the conversion of those who had lapsed in the practice of their faith. Her prayers were motivated by her great love of God and all that He created.
Rita had always loved to pray, spending much of her prayer time in contemplating the Passion and death of Jesus Christ. In the cross of Christ she discovered the greatest romance of all time. When she listened to the sermon of St. James della Marca on the crowning of Jesus with the thorns, she rejoiced at his eloquence.
Later, while contemplating this event of the Passion, Rita received a special gift: a thorn pierced her brow, causing her great pain but exquisite joy. The wound she received then became infected. It appeared so disgusting and smelled so putrid that she was secluded from the other nuns.
Rita did not complain nor did she ask our Lord to take the wound away, except on one occasion. The Augustinians were to make a pilgrimage to Rome for the year of the jubilee in 1450. In order for her to accompany them, she asked our Lord to take it away, which He did quickly. Upon her return to Cascia, the wound returned and remained with her until the day she died on May 22, 1457.
Her feast day is celebrated on May 22, and she is a patron saint of lost causes.
Dear St. Rita, even today your body remains incorrupt. Your love for God, your austerities and prayers won many souls for the Kingdom of Heaven. Lead us in learning to love our neighbors enough to suffer not only for them but from them as you did in your lifetime. Amen.

+    +    +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Hit job on Card. Pell because he’s doing his job

His Eminence George Card Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to oversee cleaning up the finances of the Holy See. He is doing his job. And so as Pell drills into the financial corruption and is getting closer to the…Continue Reading

Oil company hit man has Archbishop Cordileone in his sights

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 27, 2015 / 05:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Sam Singer’s public relations firm spun a Chevron oil refinery disaster in California and fought back a legal ruling in Ecuador that could have awarded billions of dollars to…Continue Reading

What about Henry VIII?

Interestingly, Jesus’ hard teaching that “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19:6) follows not long after his insistence to Peter on the necessity of forgiveness (see Mt 18:21–35). It is true that Jesus did…Continue Reading

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some…Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Must Save Students from Pornography Epidemic, Says Counseling Expert

Catholic colleges and universities owe it to their students to do everything within their power to help combat the destructive effects of pornography, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Kleponis, a licensed clinical…Continue Reading

Imagine: A Catholic Archbishop!

If it weren’t so predictable, it would be infuriating, but because of that, it is infuriating to thinking people. It’s happening again as San Francisco drops the hammer – again – on the Catholic Church and especially Archbishop Cordileone. He’s…Continue Reading

As storm brews, San Fran archbishop strikes back at school guideline critics

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 20, 2015 / 03:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Politicians have targeted San Francisco Catholic schools’ teacher standards, but Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone says they are a matter of Catholic mission and common sense. “Would you hire a campaign…Continue Reading

University of Scranton to end all abortion coverage

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – The University of Scranton plans to end employee health care coverage for abortions in cases of rape, incest and to preserve the life of the mother. The Times-Tribune of Scranton (http://bit.ly/1JstU9i ) reports Thursday that the…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Scandals under Fr. Jenkins Are Rooted in Diminished Catholic Faculty, Alumni Say

February 20, 2015, at 11:02 AM  |  By Kimberly Scharfenberger  | Following the election of University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C. to his third term, Notre Dame alumni spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society to share their…Continue Reading

Cardinal Napier: African Bishops Have Higher Priorities Than Communion for Divorced and Remarried

by CNA/EWTN NEWS 02/19/2015 Cardinal Wilfrid Napier speaks at the Vatican Press Office on Oct. 14, 2014. – Bohumil Petrik/CNA ROME — A leading African cardinal says the continent’s bishops want the upcoming Vatican synod to zero in on strengthening…Continue Reading

LGBT Catholic group gets special seating during Pope’s weekly address

(CNN)Members of New Ways Ministry — an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics — have made three pilgrimages to the Vatican, under three different popes. But only once have they been treated like VIPs. That’s the treatment…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl attacks “brother bishops” as “dissenters”

It is an open secret in Washington, D.C., that Donald Cardinal Wuerl has effectively banned Raymond Cardinal Burke from entering the Archdiocese of Washington.  Several sources have confirmed this to Rorate over the years, stemming from Wuerl’s disdain for any priest…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis at the close of the Spiritual Exercises – With a piece of Elijah’s mantle

2015-02-27 L’Osservatore Romano The meditations this morning, Friday 27 February, in Ariccia were the last of the Spiritual Exercises in which the Pontiff and members of the Roman Curia participated. Meditations were led by Carmelite, Fr Bruno Secondin, in the chapel of the House of Divin Maesto belonging to the Pauline Fathers. At the end of his reflection Friday morning, Pope Francis wanted to thank the preacher. “On behalf of everyone, myself included,” the Pope…Continue Reading

Pope Francis returns to Vatican after Lenten retreat

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia have returned to the Vatican at the conclusion of their  5-day Lenten retreat held in the town of Ariccia near Rome. The spiritual exercises began last Sunday (February 22nd) and took place in the Casa Divin Maestro centre in Ariccia. In brief remarks at the conclusion of the retreat the Pope thanked Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin for leading the spiritual exercises with them. Please find…Continue Reading

Charles Rice RIP

charlie rice

Word reached  us today that longtime Catholic activist and legal scholar Charles E. Rice died during the night of February 25. We ask our readers to pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and many friends and associates. An ardent crusader and defender of the Catholic faith, his presence will be missed. Joseph Matt, President, The Wanderer

Pope, Curia reflect on superficial religiosity

  (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and the Roman Curia are in the middle of their weeklong Spiritual Exercises in Ariccia, outside Rome. According to L’Osservatore Romano, the retreat master, Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin, has shared reflections with the Curia on the prophet Elias. In his reflection, Fr Secondin compared the worship of the false idols in Elias’ time with a modern-day religiosity that is interested in the superficial and in measures of faith “according to…Continue Reading

Egalitarian Chess

By DONALD DeMARCO A high school principal, let us imagine, who is thoroughly devoted to political correctness, summoned the school’s chess coach into his office. In that venue the following conversation took place. P: I think it is time to bring the game of chess into the 21st century. C: But chess is a timeless…Continue Reading

What If The Government Fears Freedom?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.? What if Reagan knew and respected the history of…Continue Reading

Our Lady And The New Evangelization

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 3 This article will look at the importance of the modern Marian apparitions, and particularly Fatima, and in this regard, this is what the Church, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 67) says about private revelation: “Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which…Continue Reading

Hanging Rudy Out To Dry

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Back in 1987, this writer was invited by friends to advise them on a press conference they had called to oppose President Reagan’s signing of an INF treaty to remove all nuclear missiles from Europe. My advice: Deplore the treaty; do not attack the president. The next day, Howard Phillips declared…Continue Reading

Darfur: Hell Without The Cameras

By JOHN J. METZLER UNITED NATIONS — In recent years, there has been a dearth of media coverage of Darfur’s humanitarian crisis. What had once been a focus for both diplomatic and high-profile celebrity efforts to detail human rights abuses during more than a decade of inter-ethnic conflict in Sudan’s troubled western region, has now…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Are Statues Idols? The Meaning Of “False Idols”

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath…Continue Reading

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. As a longtime subscriber to The Wanderer, I am puzzled that your writers don’t hesitate to criticize and disagree with bishops and cardinals on particular issues, but when it comes to the Pope you automatically close shop, yet he is human just like the bishops and cardinals. There is no teaching in our Church that says one cannot disagree…Continue Reading

God’s “Foolishness” Is Wisdom

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sunday Sermon for March 8, 2015 Third Sunday Of Lent (YR B) Readings: Exodus 20:1-17 1 Cor. 1:22-25 John 2:13-25 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about our Lord cleansing the Temple because the people had turned God’s house into a marketplace. The people, naturally, were appalled at this action because the buying and selling…Continue Reading

Pope’s Message For 30th World Youth Day . . . “Blessed Are The Pure In Heart. . . .”

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the Vatican-provided text of the Holy Father’s message for this year’s World Youth Day, which will be held on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015, at the diocesan level. ZENIT News Agency published the text on February 17; all rights reserved. + + + Dear Young Friends, We continue our spiritual pilgrimage toward Krakow, where…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustus Chapdelaine

By CAROLE BRESLIN Christianity has never been warmly welcomed by the authorities in China, but that did not stop the missionaries over the centuries who have gone there to save souls. Christianity has existed in various forms since the Tang Dynasty (eighth century). The first reports of Catholic priests going to China go back to the 13th century. John of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Jacinta Marto

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Catholic classic Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, we learn that wisdom is to be valued much more than knowledge. There is an entire book of the Old Testament called the Book of Wisdom. While holiness does not equal happiness, we can be sure that joy comes only from God. Little Jacinta Marto, the…Continue Reading