Saint Rita of Cascia
Respecting her parent's wishes that she marry instead of entering an Augustinian convent, Santa Rita de Casia spent eighteen years of her life in absolute terror of her husband. Her exemplary life finally moved her husband to reform, but he was killed in a brawl under mysterious circumstances and her two sons both died soon afterwards.
Saint Rita was refused three times before she was finally allowed to enter a convent, where she devoted herself to the sufferings of Christ. In 1441, while kneeling in prayer, her head ached in pain. It is believed that a thorn from the crucifix she had been contemplating had imbedded itself in her forehead. The wound was so offensive that she was secluded from the rest; except during her pilgrimage to Rome in 1450 when the wound healed temporarily.
It is the wound in the center of her forehead that most identifies Saint Rita of Cascia. She is dressed as an Augustinian nun holding a crucifix and a skull. Two male figurines, probably representing her sons, hold palm leaves.
She is invoked as patroness of desperate cases or helper in impossibilities. She is also considered to be a model for married women.
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