O God, come to my aid+
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia!
Come, chaste virgins; pure brides, draw near:
Let earth exult and Heaven hear
The hymn that grateful accents raise,
Our song of joy in Rita’s praise.
By fast her sinless frame is weak;
Her livid flesh the scourges streak.
In pity for her Savior’s woes,
Her days and even nights are closed.
The thorn-wound on her brow is shown,
The crimson rose in winter blown,
And full-ripe figs on frozen tree
At Rita’s wish the wonders see.
O Holy Patroness of those in need, Saint Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favours hast been called the Advocate of the hopeless and even of the Impossible.
Saint Rita, so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee, expecting, if not always relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee.
(The Story of Saint Rita: Part V)
– Entrance into the convent and the gift of the thorn
At the age of thirty-six, Rita finally was accepted into the Augustinian convent and pledged to follow the ancient Rule of Saint Augustine, by living a regular life of prayer, contemplation, and spiritual reading. For forty years she lived this routine lifestyle until Good Friday of 1442, fifteen years before her death when she had an extraordinary experience at about sixty years of age. In contemplation before an image of Jesus that was very dear to her, the ‘Jesus of Holy Saturday’ or, as it is also known, the ‘Resurgent Christ,’ she was moved by a deeper awareness of the physical and spiritual burden of pain which Christ so freely and willingly embraced for love of her and of all humanity. With the tender, compassionate heart of a person fully motivated by grateful love, she spoke her willingness to relieve Christ’s suffering by sharing even the smallest part of his pain. Suddenly a small wound appeared on her forehead, as though a thorn from the crown that encircled Christ’s head had loosed itself and penetrated her own flesh. For the next fifteen years, she bore this external sign of stigmatization and union with the Lord. In spite of the pain she constantly experienced, she offered herself courageously for the physical and spiritual well-being of others.
Points for reflection:
St. Rita felt the need of relieving and sharing in the ‘suffering’ of Christ, and she received a share of Christ’s sufferings – the mark of the thorn which refused to heal until her death. She understood the mystery of suffering and she embraced it wholeheartedly, offering it for the physical and spiritual well-being of others. Can you too willingly accept suffering, uniting it with the sufferings of Christ and offering it for the physical and spiritual well-being (good) of others?
DAY 5 PRAYER
Glorious St Rita, you did everything God asked of you, but He didn’t grant you all your heart’s desire while on earth. You also had the painful experience of the thorn for fifteen years but were never bitter. Help us not to become bitter if God has not rewarded us as we think we deserve. Also, obtain for us the grace not to become bitter in the face of pain and suffering. May we humbly ask that His will be done.
Relying then upon thy merits before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray thee obtain for us our request for those who are at risk of feeling bitter (now, mention your particular intention).
We honour thy perfect union with the Divine Will, thy heroic sufferings during thy married life, the consolation thou did experience at the conversion of thy husband, the sacrifice of thy children rather than see them grievously offend God, thy miraculous entrance into the convent, thy severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings, thy suffering caused by the wound thou did receive from the thorn of thy Crucified Saviour, thy divine love which consumed thy heart, that remarkable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament on which alone thou did exist for four years, the happiness with which thou did part from thy trials to join thy Divine Spouse, the perfect example thou gave to people of every state of life.
LITANY OF SAINT RITA
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us!
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us!
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us!
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us!
Immaculate Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of Good Counsel, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of pure love, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Queen of all saints, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Model of life for Saint Rita, pray for us.
St. Rita, our advocate and protectress, pray for us.
St. Rita, beloved by the Lord, pray for us.
St. Rita, given special grace from heaven, pray for us.
St. Rita, remarkable in childhood, pray for us.
St. Rita, model of obedience to God’s Will, pray for us.
St. Rita, the peacemaker, pray for us.
St. Rita, of untiring patience, pray for us.
St. Rita, model of Christian mothers, pray for us.
St. Rita, mirror for Christian spouses, pray for us.
St. Rita, heroic in sacrifice, pray for us.
St. Rita, generous in forgiving, pray for us.
St. Rita, martyr in penitence, pray for us.
St. Rita, embracing humility and poverty, pray for us.
St. Rita, exemplary as a widow, pray for us.
St. Rita, prompt to answer the divine call, pray for us.
St. Rita, patient in suffering, pray for us.
St. Rita, mirror of religious observance, pray for us.
St. Rita, mystical rose of every virtue, pray for us.
St. Rita, enamoured of the Passion of Christ, pray for us.
St. Rita, pierced with a thorn, pray for us.
St. Rita, in ecstasy before the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
St. Rita, consumed with Divine Love, pray for us.
St. Rita, received into heaven with joy, pray for us.
St. Rita, incorrupt in your chaste body, pray for us.
St. Rita, advocate of impossible cases, pray for us.
St. Rita, persevering in prayer, pray for us.
St. Rita, help of those in need, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Leader: Lord, you have signed your servant, Rita.
All: With the marks of Your love and Passion.
Let us pray:
O God, who bestowed on St. Rita such grace that she loved her enemies, and bore in her heart and on her forehead the mark of Your love and Passion, grant us, we beseech You, through her merits and intercession, a love for our enemies. Through our contemplation of Your Son’s sufferings and Passion, may we merit the reward promised to the meek and the suffering. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Our Father…3 Hail Marys… Glory be… (For the intentions of the Church, the Holy Father, Pope Francis; and for peace in Nigeria)
Heavenly Father! In Your infinite love and mercy, You always heed the prayers and intercessions of Your beloved servant, Rita, now glorified in Your heavenly kingdom, which are considered impossible to human skill and effort. Relying on her compassionate love, we ask You to assist us in our trials and difficulties. Let unbelievers know that You are the helper of the humble, the defender of the weak, and the strength of those who trust in You. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pray for us, O holy St. Rita, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
May the Divine assistance remain always with us, and may the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
Through the intercession of St. Rita, may the Lord bless + us protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen
(If possible, kindly accompany this novena with the Holy Rosary at any hour of the day, either 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 decades…)
- My Catholic Prayers and Devotions
- Life of Saint Rita
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo, Brazil
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?