Prayer of the Day
Fifth Week of Easter – Feast of St. Rita of CasciaMay 22nd, 2014
Today when we think of the commandments we tend to think of them in a rather negative way. Each one begins with “thou shalt not”, so we think of rules and regulations. Yet in today’s Gospel we hear Jesus, before his death, advising his disciples and us to keep the commandments as he himself did. Jesus tells us that by keeping the commandments we will “remain in his love” just as he remains in his Father’s love “so that his own joy may be in us and our joy be complete.”
Today is the feast of St. Rita of Cascia, a much loved saint, especially in Dublin. Rita was born in Italy in 1381. She wanted to enter a convent but her parents forced her into marriage with a man who turned out to be very violent. She was married for 18 years and she had two sons. Her husband was killed in a brawl and her two sons died shortly afterwards, so she was at last free to enter the Augustinian convent in Cascia. She lived an intensely prayerful life and the Lord gave her the gift of the stigmata – a thorn in her forehead. She died in 1457 and was beatified in 1626 but not canonised until 1900. She is regarded as the saint of impossible cases.