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St. Rita of Cascia - Watercolor Painting Dimensions - 14.75" X 20.5"



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St. Rita is considered a saint of those whose cause seems impossible, and with good reason. She lived a life of frustration & pain, and yet managed to rise above it all. She was born to a wealthy family in Cascia, Italy in 1381. On the day she was baptized, a swarm of snow-white bees flew around the babyís head, even in and out of her mouth ~ her parents took this as a sign that she was meant for special life.

Even though her great desire was to give her virgin life to God, her parents married her, at age 12, to a wealthy man. He was handsome but cruel and had a dangerously quick temper. She was a good and faithful wife to him for 18 years, and gave birth to two sons, Giovanno and Paulo. Her husbandís temper eventually landed him in trouble with the local mafia, and he was stabbed to death in an alley. Rita had prayed for his conversion for years, and on his deathbed, he made his peace with God. She was sorely afraid that her two sons would also be killed in their anger and need for revenge of their fatherís death. She prayed to God for help, so that their plans would not be carried out-- the sons both died of natural causes within the year.

Filled with grief at the loss of her children, Rita sought to enter the Augustinian order. Because she was a widow, and in fear of retribution, perhaps, from the family that murdered her husband, she was refused by them time after time. Finally, in 1417, she entered the convent of St. Mary Magdalene at Cascia. She became known for her great humility and piety, and for the great efficacy of her prayers. Miracles, both humble and amazing, occurred around her. Once, when very ill, she asked that a single rose and two figs be brought to her--from the garden, far away, in her former home; though it was mid-winter and the trip took many days, the fruit and flowers bloomed miraculously and were brought to her fresh and perfect. Rita also had a deep devotion to the Crucified Christ, and she prayed that she might endure at least some of the great pain He suffered, so that shecould be closer to Him. In a vision one night, she was granted her wish: she saw her crucified Savior, and was given a piercing in her forehead from a single one of his thorns. This wound bled almost continuously for years, until just before she died on May 22, 1456; her body remains incorrupt. Many miracles have been attributed to Ritaís intervention and she was canonized on May 24, 1900, by Pope Leo XIII.



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