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!
Ah, there are no roses without thorns, not at Jesus’ bed
There, whoever wants to earn a living has to carry his cross
In this garden, Rita de Cascia, the rose flower, was sown
Who left everything in this life, because she understood what love is
Neither suffering and family change her decision
Follow only Jesus Christ, never betray your heart
Holy woman of the impossible, bless our roses
For the most difficult moments, let them be miraculous flowers
Remedy for our pains, balm for the heart
And when there is unrest between couples, grant unity
Give us your dear Jesus, so we can journey
And by embracing our crosses, we reach our heavenly destination.
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 VIII)
– Moments before her death (the return of the scar and indescribable pain, her last four years sustained by the Eucharist, the miraculous Rose and the two figs, the visit of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary…)
As the sisters returned from Rome to the convent – just as Rita stepped over the threshold, the ugly wound reappeared on her forehead, and she suffered intense pains. The offensive odour and the worms reappeared also. When one of the worms fell to the floor, Rita picked it up with care and placed it back in the wound. She called them “her little angels,” as they were instruments for testing her patience as they recalled to her the intense suffering of her Jesus. She once again retired to her cell so as not to inconvenience the other nuns.
For four years after her return from Rome, the pain intensified and her life became a real martyrdom. The Son of God visited and consoled her many times, thus satisfying her thirst. After Our Lord disappeared, there remained in Rita’s heart, so deep a wound that she became ill with divine love, suffering such attacks of fever that she lay on her hard bed, more dead than alive. During those four long years of pain, Rita never complained, and throughout that time was miraculously nourished by the Body and Blood of Jesus. Put differently, during the last four years of her life, Rita was confined to bed and was able to eat so little that she was practically sustained on the Eucharist alone. She was, nevertheless, an inspiration to her sisters in religion and to all who came to visit her, by her patience and joyful disposition despite her great suffering.
One day in the month of January, one of Rita’s cousins came to visit, asking if she could do any favour for her. Rita was very ill that day but was inspired to ask her cousin to bring a rose from her garden at her former home in Rocca Porrena, which had been sold, the proceeds being given to the poor. The request surprised her cousin, who was convinced no rose would be found since the climate was very cold in January and one could see nothing but snow and ice. However, upon entering the garden, Rita’s cousin found a beautiful red rose blooming in the snow. She plucked the rose and quickly took it to Rita. She kissed it and gave thanks to God, as did all the nuns. To commemorate this miraculous event, roses are blessed each year in all the churches of the Augustinian Order on the Feast of St. Rita and distributed to the faithful. Cuttings from the original rose bush are still growing in the garden outside St. Rita’s cell.
Rita also asked her cousin to bring her 2 figs from the frozen fig tree in the garden at Rocca Porrena, which she did. Once again, Rita and the nuns gave thanks. These two miracles were a sign that Rita’s life on this earth was nearing its completion.
Rita knew these were divine predictions of her coming death. She already seemed to hear the very same words that the Divine Bridegroom of the Canticles spoke lovingly to His spouse: “Arise, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the flowers have appeared and the fig tree has put forth her green figs. Show me thy face, and let thy voice sound in my ears; for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.” (Song of Solomon 2:11-14). Jesus accompanied by His blessed Mother, appeared to Rita a short time before her death. Jesus spoke these words: “I am your Celestial Spouse, who kindled in your heart the fire of divine love, and filled your soul with virtues, in accordance with your ardent desires. I now come to tell you glad and joyful news. Rita, within a few days, you will depart from this world, to enjoy eternal rest in your celestial country.” Rita’s heart was filled with joy as she knew her suffering was about to end and that the gates of Heaven would soon be opened to her. The nuns knelt around her bed and gazed with tearful eyes on their beloved sister. Rita humbly asked pardon and forgiveness for her faults and failings, and for the inconveniences, she caused them because of the ugly wound on her head and the confinement to her cell. The nuns cried that they were about to lose the one who had so often consoled them. Rita told them that she was getting ready to “close her eyes to the world and open them to God,” so she could live with her beloved Spouse.
Point for reflection:
At this emotional point, having read the story of St. Rita to her last moments, I now invite every one of you to reflect spontaneously (about two minutes) on what you’ve read, and inviting St. Rita into your hearts… St. Rita, pray for us!
DAY 8 PRAYER
Glorious St Rita, you were famed for your compassion and wisdom and many people came to ask your help. Intercede for us that we can be open to others.
Relying then upon thy merits before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray thee obtain for us our request for the grace to be open to others (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)
O mighty and glorious Saint Rita called Saint of impossible causes, advocate of desperate cases, helper of the last hour, refuge and shelter from the pain that drags into the abyss of sin and hopelessness, with all confidence in your power with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I turn to you in the difficult and unforeseen case, which painfully oppresses my heart. (Make your wish)
Achieve the grace that I desire, for being necessary, I want it. May the prayers presented by you who are so loved by God be certainly answered. Tell Our Lord that I will use this grace to improve my life and my customs and to sing of his Divine Mercy on Earth and in Heaven. 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?