Please find our 2020-2021 Pastoral Plan ST RITA here.
Who was St. Rita?
Margherita Lotti was born in the village of Roccaporena in the Republic of Cascia, in what is now Italy, in 1381. The only child of Antonio and Amata, Rita longed to join a congregation of Augustinian nuns but her parents, aware of ongoing conflict in the church of the day, felt that married life would provide the safety and security that they wished for their daughter.
Rita was married in 1395 to Paolo Mancini and in due time bore him two sons. The early years of the family were filled with love and joy until Rita’s husband was murdered on his way home from work. The death was attributed to a long-standing feud with another family in the area. Rita’s sons were consumed by the need to avenge their father’s death and Rita prayed daily for their souls. As fate would have it, both boys contracted a fatal illness that was sweeping through the village and both succumbed.
Through her daily prayers, Rita was called to the life she initially contemplated with the Augustinian sisters. However the sisters, fearing some form of retribution from the still- simmering village feud, turned her away. Rita herself mediated a peace agreement between the warring families and she was accepted into the convent in the year 1417. Rita spent the next forty years with the sisters in what was a rather routine and predictable existence for the day, with one exception. It is said that Rita, praying before a crucifix in 1442, became the recipient of an extraordinary gift. Rita was "marked" by a thorn from the crown of Jesus Christ, a wound she bore until the day of her death.
The last years of Rita’s life were marred by poor health. Shortly before her death, she asked a visiting friend to bring her a rose from the garden in her native village. The doubting friend returned to the village, knowing full well that it was the month of January and the cold mountain climate did not allow flowers to survive. Imagine her surprise when Rita’s friend found a single, solitary rose growing in the snow in that very garden. Rita died peacefully on May 22nd, 1457. A number of miracles have been attributed to her intercession and she was beatified in 1628 and canonized in 1900. She has come to be known as a "Peacemaker" and the "Saint of the Impossible". Her feast is celebrated on May 22nd, each year.