May 21, 2012: Saint of the Impossible

~ by Mary Galvano

If there is a saint that truly “rocks” it is St. Rita of Cascia. She is known to make the impossible, possible. On the day after her baptism, her family noticed a swarm of white bees flying around her as she slept in her crib. However, the bees peacefully entered and exited her mouth without causing her any harm or injury. Instead of being alarmed for her safety, her family was mystified by this sight.

Born near Spoleto, Italy, she was married at the early age of 12 to an abusive husband, Paolo Mancini. Her parents arranged the marriage even though Rita wanted to enter the convent.

This marriage lasted for eighteen years, during which she was a model wife and mother. Upon the murder of her husband, she sought to dissuade her sons from revenge. Mancini was a rich, quick-tempered, immoral man, who had many enemies in the region. St. Rita endured his insults, abuse and infidelities for years. Through humility, kindness and patience, Rita “converted her cruel husband from his wicked ways, making their home a peaceful sanctuary of holy bliss”. St. Rita bore two sons, Giangiacomo (Giovanni) Antonio and Paulo Maria, who grew up God-loving children. Although Paolo Mancini became congenial, his allies betrayed him and he was violently stabbed to death.

After the death of her husband and sons, she joined an Augustinian community of nuns and remained there until her death on May 22, 1457. She was known for the apparent efficacy of her prayers and is venerated due to various miracles attributed to her intercession. She is well known as the “Saint of the Impossible” because many things that have happened to her in her life are impossible to us.

Rita’s attributes are a wounded forehead, roses, and bees. One day, while living at the convent Rita said, “Please let me suffer like you, Divine Saviour.” Suddenly, a thorn from a figure of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ fell from the crown of thorns and left a deep wound in Rita’s forehead. This wound never healed and caused her great suffering for the rest of her life. As a result, depictions of St. Rita show a forehead wound to represent this event. In addition to the physical pain, the wound emitted a terrible stench, which kept the other nuns away from Rita. On the day she died, the odor from the wound in St. Rita’s forehead became a beautiful scent of roses.

Towards the end of her life, when St. Rita was bedridden in the convent, a cousin visited her and asked her if she desired anything from her old home. St. Rita responded by asking for a rose and a fig from the garden. It was January and her cousin did not expect to find anything due to the snowy weather. However, when her relative went to the house, a single blooming rose was found in the garden as well as a fully ripened and edible fig, and her cousin brought the rose and fig back to St. Rita at the convent. The rose bush is still alive and often in bloom today.

Let us turn to Rita and ask for her intercession, especially on her feast day, May 22nd. She is the patron saint of lost and impossible causes, airline travel, sickness, wounds, marital problems, abuse, and mothers. She ready to help make our impossible, possible.

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Mary Galvano-Bajohr is a singer/songwriter, LPGA golf instructor, speaker and author. On the golf course she is a dedicated professional, but go to a Yankee game, a Pro-life event or other venue and you just might see her step up to the microphone and sing the National Anthem or the Ave Maria.

Visit Mary’s website at www.marygalvano.com.

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