by Emma O’Connell
Ever had to employ the intercession of a saint? When my husband and I got married four years ago we thought we’d quickly and naturally fall pregnant — and we were right, we did. Trouble was, we just didn’t remain pregnant.
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While experiencing miscarriages, we sought a saint who might be right to assist us. It just so happened that St Rita of Cascia, the Patron Saint of Impossible Dreams, is the saint on my father’s birthday, May 22. The St Rita prayer quickly became a part of our daily prayer life, and after a few months we were able to say this prayer off by heart.
St Rita (Margherita Lotti) was born in Spoleto, Italy, in 1381. At an early age, she wanted to join the nearby convent, but her parents wouldn’t allow this and arranged for her to marry.
The man her parents chose, it turned out, had a bad temper and a violent nature.
Rita bore him two boys. After some years her husband was killed, but not before repenting on his deathbed. A short while later her two sons, having tried to avenge their father’s death, also died. All this while, Rita prayed for her family, that they would come to love God before their deaths.
Finally Rita was allowed to be admitted to the convent in Cascia where she began a life of obedience and charity. There she maintained a devoutness to the Passion and Suffering of our Lord.
One day as Rita was praying before a crucifix a thorn from his crown appeared in her forehead. It left a wound that would not heal and caused her much suffering.
Rita died on May 22, 1457. Her incorrupt body lies at the Basilica of Cascia in Italy.
Over the next couple of years as we prayed to St Rita, my husband and I added other couples we knew of who wished to become pregnant, including two who really were “impossible cases”. We have seen eight couples off our “list” become pregnant and have babies.
Part of the St Rita prayer mentions that, “We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify thee by making known thy favour to bless and sing thy praises forever”. We promised that if we were to have a girl, we would name her Rita, so that we could always let others know about St Rita’s powerful intercessory help.
On August 13 last year little Rita Christina Maria was born at home. (Funny how St Rita was born in 1381, a similar
date.) Our Rita is a delight and a joy. When people ask, I like to say, “Her name is Rita, after St Rita, the Saint of Impossible Cases”.
It’s amazing how many people have heard about St Rita or enquire for more information. We’d highly recommend this
powerful intercessor.
Emma O’Connell is one of a number of
writers for Restless Press.