Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rita of Cascia

St. Rita is a very popular saint, considered a saint of the impossible or lost causes, she attracts many devotees, and apparently never disappoints any who confide in her.  Interestingly, most of her life was filled with bitter trials. 

That caught my attention today - a life of bitter trials.  Her husband, who was ill-tempered and ill-behaved, was eventually murdered.  Her sons were like the father.  After her husband's murder she sought entrance to the Augustinians but was rejected.  Later she was admitted through miraculous circumstances - but the holy widow never really found acceptance amongst the other nuns.  She suffered the stigmata of a thorn in her forehead, yet she was still rejected by the community because of the stench the wound exuded.  Such a holy woman 'suffered bitter trials throughout her entire life.'  (Magnificat)  Her obvious holiness never made her popular, she was neither celebrated in the monastery nor outside the enclosure.

"What did you go out to the desert to see?" - Luke 7:24

"When you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials." - Sirach 2:1


  1. Anonymous2:02 PM

    What a pretty painting of St. Rita. Where did you find it?

  2. I found it on google - it is from a seller specializing in Spanish Colonial works.

  3. St.Rita of Casia first came to my attention in a 2010 retrospective exhibition of the great French artist Yves Klein. He had a great devotion to her, and on one of his pilgrimages to her tomb he brought a votive offering made of plexiglas, blue pigment (International Klein Blue, his own color), magenta pigment, gold leaf and bars, and a prayer. The small work was astounding, both as art and as a spiritual offering. I went home and googled St.Rita to find out who inspired such purity in art.
    And I smile that today the Vatican newspaper recognized this love and gratitude.
    Hmmm. This might make a good painting...

    1. Many thanks! I never knew of this. I'm delighted to find his prayer to the Saint:


      “May my enemies become my friends, and, if that is possible, may any attempt against me never harm me. Make me and all my works invulnerable. So be it. … Saint Rita of Cascia, saint of impossible and desperate cases, thank you for all the powerful, decisive, marvelous aide that you have granted me up to now. Thank you infinitely. Even if I am personally unworthy of it, grant me your aide again and always in my art and always protect everything that I have created so that even in spite of myself it should always be of great beauty.”
      —Yves Klein, excerpt from “Prayer to Saint Rita,” a handwritten document placed within the votive, February 1961"

      It was meant for me to read today. Thanks E.


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