Saint Rita was born in Roccaporena, near Cascia, in Italy in 1381. Her dream was devoting for God and enter the convent. However her parents has destined for her the marriage. She married Paul de Ferdinand, the man with hard personality and impetuous character so her matrimonial life was a martyrdom.
As years pass by, Paul converted, became a devout Catholic thanks to Rita’s prayer, patience and affection. Unfortunately her husband was murdered and Rita started to pray for two sons who were seeking to avenge their father’s death. Her prayers were answered and her sons died of a serious disease. Once alone she decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to God in the Augustinian Nuns of Saint Mary Magdalene Monastery, but because she was a widow they denied her the possibility to enter the convent.
Fortunately after some time and some miracles connected with Rita, her entry into the monastery was approved.
For the next forty years she gave herself to prayer and works of charity, striving especially to preserve peace and harmony among the citizens of Cascia. Rita wanted more and more to be intimately joined to the redemptive suffering of Jesus and this desire was satisfied. One day she was meditating before an image of Christ crucified when suddenly a small wound appeared on her forehead, as though a thorn from the crown of Christ’s head.
Other miracles are also known: a God’s miracle did that the plant was re-dressing of big clusters of exquisite grape. Some few months before her death, Rita asked only for a rose from the garden of her parents’ home. It was quite an impossible one to grant in the month of January. Nevertheless, on returning home the a relative from her hometown of Roccaporena discovered, to her amazement, a single brightly-colored blossom on the bush where the nun said it would be. Picking it, she returned immediately to the monastery and presented it to Rita who gave thanks to God for this sign of love.
Rita died the year 1457. Her body, which has remained incorrupt over the centuries, is today in the shrine of Cascia. She was declared a Saint in 1900 by Pope Leon XIII, who named her “a precious pearl of Umbria”. She is known as the saint of the Impossible Reasons. Her feast is observed on the anniversary of her death, 22 May.
The worship of Saint Rita from Cascia in parish of Our Lady Immaculate in Nowy Sącz was started be the consecration of Saint Rita’s image on the 22nd of May 1993 year. The image was painted by a local artist- Bernard Wójcik, as a copy of the real image from Cascia. It was donated as a votive by Janina Habel-Juin, who comes from Nowy Sącz, but lives in France.
The celebration with blessing roses occurs on the day of Saint Rita -22nd of May. The worship of Saint Rita is symbolized by fresh roses as well as lit candles in front of her image which are brought by worshippers.
The novena of Saint Rita is celebrated every second Thursday of a month at 6 p.m. A lot of worshippers from our parish, but also people from the area of Nowy Sącz and the region. After the novena the mass is celebrated for the all intentions and as a worship for received grace. In the end there is a blessing with Saint Rita’s Relics and their honoring.