by Patricia Mathson
Celebrating Saint Rita of Cascia
Feast Day: May 22
CLICK HERE for a Saint Page about St. Rita of Cascia that your learners can take home to share with their families.
Rita was born in 1381. She was the only child of older parents, and she grew up in a small town near Cascia, Italy. Rita’s parents taught her to live in peace. She became a wife, a mother, a widow, and a nun. Despite many difficulties in her life, Rita always was faithful to God.
Rita married a man that her parents chose for her—as was the custom of her time. Unfortunately, her husband was killed in an ongoing feud. Rita’s two sons wanted to avenge their father’s death, but she pleaded with them not to do this. She forgave those who killed her husband.
Acted as a Peacemaker
Rita’s sons, whom she dearly loved, died within a year of their father. This tragedy filled her with grief. She eventually went to the rival families and convinced them to live in peace. She then entered the Augustinian Order and became a religious sister.
For many years, Sister Rita served people who were sick or living in poverty. She was a person of forgiveness and prayer. She died after a long illness in 1457. She is a patron saint of impossible causes because she overcame many difficulties and always trusted in God.
What Can We Do?
* Let’s talk about the life of St. Rita. Who taught her about peace? Who did she forgive? What did she do after her sons died? Who did she help? Why is she a patron saint of impossible causes?
* Let’s make a list of ways to live in peace with others. Some ideas include: Speak respectfully to other people. Don’t argue. Let go of grudges. Be kind. Don’t gossip. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Forgive others. Pray for peace.
* Let’s create peace posters. Let’s talk about the Bible verse from 2 Corinthians 13:11: “Live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you.” Then we can write these words on posters and decorate them. We can take these posters home to share with our families and encourage peace in our homes.
God of Peace, we praise you for all you have done for us. We ask your help to live in peace in our lives each day. May we be peacemakers, like St. Rita was, and work for peace in our families, our neighborhoods, and our world. Amen.
Patricia Mathson has many years of experience in faith formation as a DRE and holds a MRE degree from the University of Dallas. She is the children’s ministry coordinator at Hope Family Center in Des Moines, IA. She is the author of many books including Plant the Seed: Sharing the Gospel with Children (Liguori Publications).
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This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, July 2013.
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