Quote/s of the Day – 22 May – 2 Prayers to St Rita of Cascia

Quote/s of the Day – 22 May – St Rita of Cascia (1386-1457) Mother, Widow, Stigmatist, Consecrated Religious, Mystic

Saint Rita (1381-1457) was born at Cascia in Umbria, Italy.
At the age of twelve she was forced to marry an ill-tempered nobleman, who was a heavy cross to her for many years.
After his death she joined the Augustinian nuns.
Our Lord sealed His love for her by piercing her brow with a thorn from His sacred Crown.
Saint Rita is almost without equal as the shining model of the unmarried, of wives and mothers and of religious.
Her Patronage extends to Impossible Causes and Wives in Abusive Marriages.

Indulgenced Prayer to St Rita

O God, who didst deign to communicate
so great grace to Saint Rita
that she imitated Thine example,
in the love of enemies and bore in her heart
and on her countenance,
the Sacred marks of Thy love and Passion;
grant, we beseech Thee,
by her merits and intercession,
that we may love our enemies
and ever contemplate,
with deep contrition,
the sorrows of Thy Passion,
Who livest and reignest world without end.

Indulgence of 300 days, once a day.
Plenary Indulgence on the usual conditions,
if the daily recitation of this prayer is continued for a month.

A Prayer to St Rita
When in Special Need

O powerful St Rita,
rightly called Saint of the Impossible,
I come to you with confidence in my great need.
You know well my trials,
for you yourself were many times burdened in this life.
Come to my aid, speak for me,
pray with me, intercede on my behalf
before the Father.
I know that God has a most generous heart
and that He is a most loving Father.
Join your prayers to mine
and obtain for me the grace I desire
……………… (here mention your request).
You who were so very pleasing to God on earth
and are so much now in Heaven,
I promise to use this favour, when granted,
to better my life, to proclaim God’s Mercy
and to make you more widely known and loved.


Quote of the Day – 28 October – Patron of Impossible Causes

Quote of the Day – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles

The Patron Saint of the Impossible:
This practice is thought to stem from the belief that few Christians invoked St Jude in prayer, due to their misplaced fear of praying to Christ’s betrayer, Judas Iscariot, the two names being so similar.
Being so seldom invoked and reverenced, St Jude was and is, ready and waiting to hear the prayers of those who call upon him.   Ironically, he is probably the Apostle who is the most frequently invoked in prayer and the most memorialised in Churches, with Statues and stained glass windows or other artworks. The ignored St Jude, thus became more eager to assist anyone who sought his intercession and aid, to the point of interceding in the most dire of circumstances.
And so, the Title, “The Saint of Impossible Causes, for the Hopeless and the Desperate,” remains, to our benefit with the glorious Saint Jude.
St Bernard and St Bridget too, both had visions from God, asking each to accept St Jude as “The Patron Saint of the Impossible.”
Today, more than ever before, the merits of the beloved Saint Jude Thaddeus is being revived in people’s minds and hearts.
In return, he is proving himself to be more than an ordinary advocate, taking special delight in coming to the aid of persons in desperate need.

Prayer to St Jude
Patron of Impossible Causes

It is a beautiful tradition,
associated with prayer to St Jude,
to leave a copy of the prayer in a Church
or before his Statue, Image or Shrine,
for someone else, who is in great need, to find.

Most holy Apostle, St Jude,
faithful servant and friend of Jesus,
the Church honours and invokes you universally,
as the patron of hopeless causes,
of things almost despaired of.
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Help me, I implore you,
by that particular privilege given to you,
to bring visible and speedy help
where help is almost despaired of.
Come to my assistance in this great need,
that I may receive the consolation
and help of Heaven in all my necessities,
tribulation and sufferings,
particularly ………………… (state request)
and that I may praise God with you
and all the elect forever.
I promise, O blessed St Jude,
to be ever mindful of this great favour,
to always honour you as my special and powerful patron
and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.


Saint of the Day – 23 May – Saint Desiderius of Langres (c 307-c 356) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 23 May – Saint Desiderius of Langres (c 307-c 356) Martyr, the Third Bishop of Langres, France. St Desiderius is a Cephalophores (one who picks up his head, after being beheaded and walks). Born in c 307 in Genoa, Italy and died by being beheaded in c 356 near Langres, France. Patronages – of the City and Diocese of Langres, of difficult or impossible situations, he is invoked for assistance for those seeking the truth, of Assago and Castelnuovo Scrivia both towns in Italy. Also known as – Desiderius of Genoa, Desiderio of…, Dizier of…, Didier of…, Désiré of… Additional Memorial – 19 January (translation of his relics).

The Roman Martyrology reads: “Near Langres in Lugdunense Gaul, now in France, the passion of St Desiderius, offering himself serenely for the good of the flock entrusted to him.

Desiderius occupies the third place in the list of Bishops of Langres, it seems he was a native of the surroundings of Genoa and miraculously appointed to the Episcopal See of Langres.

A cleric from the aforementioned City named Varnacario, wrote an account of his Martyrdom at the beginning of the seventh century, based on local traditions. According to this account by Varnacario, the Bishop Desiderius was beheaded during an invasion of the Vandals in which he offered himself to save his flock.

A legend says that after his beheading, the holy Bishop, like so many other cephalophores, picked up his head and returned to the City, through a crack in the rock that had opened to let him pass, this opening is still shown today.

The City of Langres also remembers him on 19 January, the anniversary of the transfer of the relics of St Desiderius which occurred in 1315. His cult spread, not only in France but also in Italy, Switzerland, Germany. He is the Patron Saint of the City of Langres and many Churches in the Diocese are dedicated to him. His tomb was kept in a Benedictine Priory in the centre of the City.

In 1354, a famous brotherhood apostolate was founded in his honour to which Kings and Princes belonged. St Desiderius is invoked as a witness to the truth of the oaths and as a protector in difficult situations.


Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles of Christ – 28 October

Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles of Christ – 28 October

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Sts Simon and Jude whose names occur together in the Canon of the Mass and are also celebrated on the same day.   These two Apostles have been linked in name since the early days of Christianity and some believe that this is because they were relatives of Jesus.

San Simón | Jusepe de Ribera / Image: Saint Jude Thaddeus | Georges de La Tour

St Simon in the Gospels is called “the Zealot” and this may indicate that he belonged to that military group of Jews called the Zealots, the last of whom committed suicide on Masada rather than surrender to the Roman legions.   Legend has Simon evangelising the area around Edessa in Syria, where later a great school of theology arose. It is also said, that after preaching in Egypt, he joined St Jude in Mesopotamia and that they both went as missionaries to Persia and were martyred there.   Undoubtedly, their names are linked also because of this association.

st simon the zealot apostle.jpg
St Simon

Jude was most certainly a cousin of Jesus and is mentioned in the lists of the “brothers of the Lord.”   In Luke he is called Jude and in Matthew and Mark, ‘Thaddeus’ and is considered to be the brother of James, the first Bishop of Jerusalem and the leader of the early Christian community there – this is James the Lesser, not the brother of St John.   He is the author of the Epistle of Jude in the New Testament, one of those called the ‘Catholic Epistles.’   It is believed that the early translators of the New Testament from Greek into English, sought to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and subsequently abbreviated his forename.   In iconography, , St Jude is often shown with an image of his cousin, our Lord Jesus and a tongue of fire over his jude with image of jesus.jpg

At the Last Supper, it was Jude who asked the Lord Jesus, why He did not manifest Himself to the rest of the world and Jesus answered that he and the Father would visit all those who loved Him, saying – “We will come to him and make our abode with him.”sts jude and simon

Jude is the patron of ‘hopeless cases’ and devotion to him, as the advocate of impossible causes, is widespread throughout the Church.   So why is St Jude Thaddaeus the patron saint of desperate causes?   The traditional reason is rather simple – When one hears the name Judas (Latin and Greek) or even Jude (English), one immediately thinks of Judas Iscariot who betrayed our Lord.   Therefore, a person had to be desperate to invoke his name.   Being so seldom invoked and reverenced, St Jude is ready and waiting to hear the prayers of those who call upon him.   Ironically, he is probably the Apostle who is invoked the most in prayer and the most memorialised in churches, with statues and stained glass windows or other artworks.

It is a beautiful tradition, associated with prayer to St Jude, for his intercession, to leave a copy of the prayer in a Church, or before his Statue, Picture or Shrine, for someone else in great need, to find.   The prayer is usually prayed as a Novena.

Prayer to St Jude
Patron of Impossible Causes

Most holy Apostle, St Jude,
faithful servant and friend of Jesus,
the Church honours and invokes you universally,
as the patron of hopeless causes,
of things almost despaired of.
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Help me, I implore you,
by that particular privilege given to you,
to bring visible and speedy help
where help is almost despaired of.
Come to my assistance in this great need,
that I may receive the consolation
and help of Heaven in all my necessities,
tribulation and sufferings,
particularly ………………… (state request)
and that I may praise God with you
and all the elect forever.
I promise, O blessed St Jude,
to be ever mindful of this great favour,
to always honour you as my special and powerful patron
and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.
Amenprayer to st jude - patron of impossible causes - 28 oct 2019.jpg


Feast of the Apostles – Sts Simon and Jude – 28 October

Feast of the Apostles – Sts Simon and Jude – 28 October Saints- Simon_and_Jude 1

St Simon Apostle of Christ – Apostle, Martyr, Preacher, Evangelist, Missionary – also known as St Simon the Zealot.   Patronages – curriers, sawmen, sawyers, tanners, woodcutters, Monterchi, Italy.   St Simon was called the Cananean or Zealot because of his zeal for the Jewish law;  he was not from Cana, nor a member of the Zealot party.

Like all the Apostles, he was a convert and was trained by Saint Peter the Apostle.   He evangelised in Egypt and Mesopotamia, though there are traditions of him being in several other locations.   He was a Martyr for the faith but several places claim to have been the site of his martyrdom and in several different ways too.   St Simon’s main attribute is a serrated saw as it is believed that he was he was sawn in half at Suanir, Persia.   Many locations claim to have relics including Toulouse, France and Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy.

UNKNOWN CARAVAGGIST st simon apostle

St Jude Apostle of Christ – Martyr, Evangelist, Preacher, Missionary, Writer – also known as – Jude of James, Judas Thaddaeus, Jude, brother of Jesus – Patronages – Armenia, lost cause, desperate situations, hospitals,  the Chicago Police Department, 13 cities,  the Philippines.   Saint Jude’s attribute is a club.   He is also often shown in icons with a flame around his head.   This represents his presence at Pentecost, when he received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles.   Another common attribute is Jude holding an image of Jesus Christ, known as the Image of Edessa.   In some instances, he may be shown with a scroll or a book (the Epistle of Jude) or holding a carpenter’s rule.
His patronage of lost or impossible causes traditionally derives from confusion by many early Christians between Jude and the traitor Judas Iscariot – not understanding the difference between the names, they never prayed for Jude’s help and devotion to him became something of a lost cause.
He was beaten to death with a club, then beheaded post-mortem in 1st century Persia. His relics are at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy, at Rheims, France and at Toulouse, France.lienzo-tela-san-juJude das-tadeo-apostol-arte-sacro-50-x-60-cm-D_NQ_NP_617705-MLM25071735870_092016-F

Simon was a simple Galilean, a brother of Jesus, as the ancients called one’s close relatives — aunts, uncles, first cousins.    He was one of the Saviour’s four first cousins, with James the Less, Jude and Joseph, all sons of Mary, the wife of Alpheus, or Cleophas, either name being a derivative of the Aramaic Chalphai.   The latter was the brother of Saint Joseph, according to tradition.   All the sons of this family were raised at Nazareth near the Holy Family.  (See the Gospel of Saint Matthew 13:53-58.)   Simon, Jude and James were called by Our Lord to be Apostles, pillars of His Church and Joseph the Just was His loyal disciple.

Saint Simon the Zealot or the Zealous, was the name this Apostle bore among the twelve. He preached in Egypt, Mauritania (Spain) and Lybia, leaving behind him the fertile hills of Galilee, where he had been engaged in the healthful cultivation of the vineyards and olive gardens.   He later rejoined his brother, Saint Jude, in Persia, where they laboured and died together (other traditions of their deaths in different locations exist too).   At first they were respected by the king, for they had manifested power over two ferocious tigers who had terrorised the land.   With the king, sixty thousand Persians became Christians and churches rose over the ruins of the idolatrous temples.   But the ancient enemy, who never sleeps, rose up and when the two went elsewhere the pagans commanded them to sacrifice to the sun which led to their martyrdom.Scuola Renana, The Martyrdoms of Saints Simon and Jude, 15th cen

Saint Jude has left us a short but powerful epistle, written after the death of his brother James, bishop of Jerusalem and addressed to the new Christians being tempted by false brethren and heretics.sts simon and jude - tumblr_ofqxb9TV5T1rfr4hno5_400


Saint of the Day – 11 August – St Philomena (c 291 – 304) “The Wonder Worker”

Saint of the Day – 11 August – St Philomena (c 291 – 304) “The Wonder Worker”  Virgin, Martyr.   Patronages – against barrenness, infertility, sterility, against bodily ills, against mental illness, against sickness, sick people, babies, infants, newborns, toddlers , children, young people, youth, Children of Mary, desperate, forgotten, lost or impossible causes, Living Rosary, orphans, poor people, Priests, prisoners, students, test takers.giuseppe-bezzuoli-santa-filomenast philomena header

The tomb of this virgin and martyr, unknown until the first years of the 19th century, was providentially discovered in 1802 in the catacombs of Priscilla on the Via Salaria, Rome, Italy.   It was covered by stones, the symbols on which indicated that the body was a martyr named Saint Philomena.   The bones were exhumed, catalogued and effectively forgotten since there was so little known about the person.Cathédrale_Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption_de_Montauban_-_Couronnement_de_sainte_Philomène_-_Jules_Jolivet_PM82000423

In 1805 Canon Francis de Lucia of Mugnano, Italy was in the Treasury of the Rare Collection of Christian Antiquity (Treasury of Relics) in the Vatican.   When he reached the relics of Saint Philomena he was suddenly struck with a spiritual joy and requested that he be allowed to enshrine them in a chapel in Mugnano.   After some disagreements, settled by the cure of Canon Francis following prayers to Philomena, he was allowed to translate the relics to Mugnano.   Miracles began to be reported at the shrine including cures of cancer, healing of wounds and the Miracle of Mugnano in which Venerable Pauline Jaricot was cured a severe heart ailment overnight.   Philomena became the only person recognised as a Saint solely on the basis of miraculous intercession as nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her philomena 2

God, by many miracles, made the discovery of Saint Philomena’s body famous and the cult of the young Saint spread everywhere with an extraordinary rapidity.   She received such exceptional homage, that she deserves to be placed in the first ranks of the virgin martyrs, whom the Church venerates.   The Holy Curé of Ars called her his dear little Saint and performed wonders himself by his prayers to philomena Masa Feszty (Hungarian, 1895–1979)

Certain revelations having the character of authenticity say that Saint Philomena was the daughter of a Greek prince, who accompanied her parents to Rome on a journey and that her glorious martyrdom occurred there under Diocletian in the third century.   The two arrows engraved on her tombstone in opposite directions referred to the efforts of the persecutor to slay her with a volley of arrows, after Angels preserved her from death by drowning;  the arrows turned against the archers.   Finally she was beheaded, like so many other miraculously protected heroes and heroines of Christ.   This opinion, which certain circumstances attending the translation of her relics in 1805 to the city of Mugnano appeared to verify, has prevailed.   In that city, devotion to her has been extraordinary and remains so to this day, miracles have multiplied both there and elsewhere for those who invoke her.

Other very serious studies, maintain that she was a child of the Roman people, immolated in the first century for Jesus Christ, at the age of twelve or thirteen years.   An examination of her bones permitted her age to be estimated and the vial of dried blood in her tomb clearly indicated her martyrdom.   The instruments of torture painted on the terra cotta plaque which enclosed her tomb — an arrow, an anchor, a torch — show us what sort of tortures she bore, all of which are known to us through other martyrdoms of the same early centuries.   The inscription:   Peace be with you, Philomena, reveals her

What is beyond doubt is that this Saint responds unfailingly to the faith of those who invoke her.   Invoked everywhere with wonderful success, she was entitled the wonder-worker of the 19th century.   She has shown herself to be the protectress, in particular, of small children.   A mother whose young son died despite her prayers, placed a picture of the Saint on his corpse, begging that he be returned to her.   And the child rose as though from sleep, stood up beside his bed and had no more symptoms of any sickness whatsoever.   A little girl who had put out her eye playing with a pair of scissors, which injury was declared irreparable by physicians, had her eye restored when she washed her face in oil taken from the Saint’s lamp and this eye seemed to everyone more vivid and bright than the philomena

Many doubts remain about this little Saint, however, although she is no longer anywhere on the Church’s calendar, devotion to her has never floundered or diminished.   Personal devotion to any saint and we know ourselves, that there are many unknown saints around us and when they leave this earth, we ask them for their prayers of intercession and therefore, the faithful continue without doubt to venerate St Philomena.

Popes loved her and they were joined in fervour by some of the era’s greatest saints  . John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, called Philomena the True Light of the Church Militant.   He built a basilica in her honour, where he installed the relic he had been given by the Venerable Pauline Jaricot, foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. (Innumerable “pagan babies” were given the name Philomena in honour of the foundress’s favourite saint, as I recall.)   Father Damien dedicated the first leper chapel on Molokai in her honour.   The American missionary saints John Neumann and Frances Cabrini spread devotion to Philomena throughout the Catholic United States.   St Peter Julian Eymard was a great devotee as was St Anthony Mary Claret.  Padre Pio, himself no mean wonder-worker, once silenced critics of her cult by snarling, “For the love of God!  It might well be that her name is not Philomena but this Saint has performed many miracles and it is not the name that did them.”st philomena statue


Saint of the Day – 22 May – St Rita of Cascia – Patron of Impossible Causes, Abused Wives and Widows

Saint of the Day – 22 May – St Rita of Cascia – (born Margherita Lotti) IN  1386 at Roccaparena, Umbria, Italy and died on  22 May 1457 at the Augustinian Convent at Cascia, Italy of tuberculosis)- Mother, Widow, Stigmatist, Consecrated Religious, Mystic, – Patron of Lost and impossible causes, sickness, wounds, marital problems, abuse, mothers,  against infertility or sterility, infertile people, against loneliness, against sickness or bodily ill, sick people, wounds, wounded people, desperate people, forgotten people,  difficult marriages, parenthood, Cascia, Italy, Dalayap, Philippines, Igbaras, Iloilo, Philippines.   Attributes –  nun holding a crown of thorns, holding roses, holding roses and figs, with a wound on her forehead.  Her Body is Incorrupt and lies in the Basilica of Cascia.   Pope Leo XIII canonised Rita on 24 May 1900.


Blessed by God,
you were a light in darkness
through your steadfast courage
when you had to suffer such agony
upon your cross. You turned aside from this vale of tears
to seek wholeness for your hidden wounds
in the great passion of Christ. . . .
You were not content with less than perfect healing,
and so endured the thorn for fifteen years
before you entered into the joy
of your rita of cascia incorrupt body

This poem was engraved on the casket of St Rita of Cascia and is one of the few contemporary sources that tell us about her.   St Rita received her “hidden wounds” in an unfortunate marriage.   She was born in 1381 in the city of Roccaporena (near Spoleto, Umbria, Italy) where various sites connected with her are the focus of pilgrimages.   Her parents, Antonio and Amata Ferri Lotti, were known to be noble, charitable persons, who gained the epithet Conciliatore di Cristo “Peacemakers of Christ.”   She was married at age twelve to a nobleman named Paolo Mancini.   Her parents arranged her marriage, a common practice at the time, despite her repeated requests to be allowed to enter a convent of religious sisters.   Her husband, Paolo Mancini, was known to be a rich, quick-tempered, immoral man, who had many enemies in the region of Cascia.   Rita had her first child at the age of twelve.  For eighteen years she endured the abuses and infidelities of a violent husband.   She also suffered the unruly behaviour of two sons who were strongly influenced by their father.   She was delivered from these miserable circumstances in a horrific way –  one day her husband was brought home dead, brutally slashed by his enemies.   Her rambunctious sons planned to get revenge but died before they could obtain it.

Rita was then free to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a nun.   She applied to enter the Augustinian convent at Cascia of Italy, in 1407.   But her suffering was not over.   Even though orders customarily received widows, the Augustinians three times refused Rita because she had been married.   Only after six years did they acquiesce and install her as a nun.

The poem said Rita “sought wholeness” in the passion of Christ.   In her meditations she preoccupied her imagination with his agony.   On Good Friday, 1441, she prostrated herself before a Crucifix and begged Christ for some small share of his suffering.   As though punctured by a crown of thorns, a single wound opened on Rita’s forehead.   For fifteen years it caused her daily pain and embarrassed her, as its putrid odour frequently offended her sisters.   In 1450, when she was preparing to visit Rome for the jubilee year, the wound temporarily healed.   But it reappeared when she returned to Cascia and remained until her rita of cascia saint of the mpossible

Rita died of tuberculosis on 22 May 1457.   Three days later, Domenico Angeli, a notary of Cascia, recorded eleven miracles that occurred upon the saint’s death.   He left us this brief profile of her religious life:

“A very honourable nun, Lady Rita, having spent forty years as a nun in the cloister of the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene of Cascia by living with charity in the service of God, followed the destiny of every human being.   God, in whose service she persevered for the aforementioned time—desiring to show all the faithful a model of life, so that as she had lived serving God with love by fasting and prayer, they too, all faithful Christians, would live also—worked many wonderful miracles and through the merits of Saint Rita, especially on 25 May 1457.”

The Miracle of the Rose

It is said that near the end of her life Rita was bedridden at the convent.   While visiting her, a cousin asked if she desired anything from her old home.   Rita responded by asking for a rose from the garden.   It was January and her cousin did not expect to find one due to the season.   However, when her relative went to the house, a single blooming rose was found in the garden and her cousin brought it back to Rita at the convent.   St Rita is often depicted holding roses or with roses nearby.   On her feast day churches and shrines of St Rita provide roses to the congregation that are blessed by the priest during Mass.S.Rita_da_Cascia

The Miracle of the Bees

In the Parish Church of Laarne, near Ghent, Belgium, there is a statue of St Rita in which several bees are featured.   This depiction originates from the story of her Baptism as an infant.   On the day after her Baptism, her family noticed a swarm of white bees flying around her as she slept in her crib.   However, the bees peacefully entered and exited her mouth without causing her any harm or injury.   Instead of being alarmed for her safety, her family was mystified by this sight.   According to Butler, this was taken to indicate that the career of the child was to be marked by industry, virtue and devotion.miracles-bees-of-saint-rita-of-cascia


A large sanctuary of St Rita was built in the early 20th century in Cascia. The sanctuary and the house where she was born are among the most active pilgrimage sites of rita of cascia incorrupt body 2

st rita shrine

French singer Mireille Mathieu adopted St Rita as her patron saint on the advice of her paternal grandmother.   In her autobiography, Mathieu describes buying a candle for St Rita using her last franc.   Though Mathieu claims that her prayers did not always come true, she testifies that they inspired her to become a strong and determined woman.