St. Rita was born in Italy in 1381. She wanted to join a convent, but her parents arranged a marriage for her. After 20 years of marriage, her violent husband was stabbed by an enemy. He repented before he died because of Rita’s prayers. After her two sons died shortly after, Rita was admitted into an Augustinian convent. The story behind her entry to the convent is that when she first tried to go, the doors were locked. Rita was miraculously transported inside. In the morning when the sisters found her inside, they couldn’t turn her away and she was allowed to join the order.
She is known to have had a great devotion to the Passion of Christ and to have prayed, “Please let me suffer like you, Divine Savior.” Upon praying this, one of the thorns from the crucifix pricked her forehead, leaving a deep wound which did not heal for the rest of her life. Her feast day is May 22, and she is the patron of impossible causes.
My favorite part of St. Rita’s story isn’t the miracles (although stigmata stories are fascinating); it’s that she is the patron of impossible causes. By definition, impossible causes are, well, impossible. All hope is gone. Yet with God, the impossible is possible. Just because something seems impossible from our limited view doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still pray about it. Impossible doesn’t mean hopeless.