St Rita of Cascia

Today is the feast of St Rita of Cascia.

Catholic Fire relates...

...St. Rita was born at Rocca Porena in the Diocese of Spoleto in 1386 to Antonio and Amata Lotti, who were quite advanced in years. Rita’s birth was an answer to their prayers. The family was well-known for their charity, which merited them the surname of "Peacemakers of Jesus Christ.".. More

Some interesting things about St Rita.

There is a 1st Class Relic of St Rita in the Catholic book store on the north-west side of Chicago called The House of Hansen located at 4223 W. Irving Park Road. This is two blocks from my parents house. Although I had lived in the neighbourhood for years and had passed this store almost everyday before I left home in "73" I never knew St Rita's relic was there until 5 years ago. There is a life sized statue of St Rita in the window.

In order to teach her humility,"...Mother Superior commanded Sister Rita to pick up a stick, to plant it and water it every day. Sister Rita never challenged this daily task of obedience although many of the nuns in the convent laughed and made fun of her. After a year of care, the stick blossomed into a beautiful grape vine. The grapes were used to make the sacramental wine used in daily liturgy. The vine is still growing in her convent today, it is over 600 years old and to this day the grapes are harvested, sent to Vatican and are given as a gift to world dignitaries..." Four years ago I cut brush from the wood behind my house to make a wattle to surround my wife Suzanne's garden.

One of those sticks I cut was totally devoid of roots and branches, about 2 1/2 feet long and flat at both ends. I used a sledge hammer to pound it into the ground. It remained thus for 2 years. One day I saw that the stick had sprouted a branch about an inch long with three leaves. I was a bit shocked because I knew there were no roots and how brutal I was in pounding it into the ground. I dug it up but it was difficult as the stick was embedded in the NC clay which is so prevalent in our area. I gave way eventually. Still it was flat at both ends, and there were no roots, except one about an inch long. I planted it in a flower pot, watered it irregularly, yet it grew. It grew to the point that this spring it flowered and my wife transplanted it to a special part of her yard. It was root bound. We call it St Rita's stick in honour of this Saint.


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