Saint Rita of Cascia
Rita was born in 1381 in Roccaporena, a small village 5 kms from Cascia. Around the age of 16, she got married to Paolo di Ferdinando Mancini: they had two sons. The murder of her husband, victim of the fight between the opposing factions, turned her life upside down, but she was able to forgive. Her sons, instead, wanted to avenge the father’s death but Rita prayed God to take them to Himself rather than let them commit such an action. So, both of them died very young.
Later, Rita, who was still young, asked to be accepted at the Augustinian monastery of Santa Maria Maddalena in Cascia. At first she wasn’t allowed to join the order, but she finally managed to become a nun. She spent 40 years in the convent. In her last 15 years of life, she got on her front the stigmata of one of the thorns that formed Jesus’ crowns, so she felt on herself the pain Jesus had suffered.
Rita Mancini died on 22nd May 1457. She was declared Saint by Pope Leo XIII on 24th May 1900.