St Rita of CasciaSt. Rita was born in 1381 in a village just outside of Cascia. She was forced into an arranged marriage, where her husband was a violent and cruel man but through St. Rita’s devotion in prayers and affection, he was converted in time. However he was murdered by his enemies and soon after her two sons died of natural causes. St. Rita eventually entered the Augustinian nuns in Cascia. One day when she was about sixty years of age, she was meditating before an image of Christ crucified, as she was long accustomed to doing. Suddenly a small wound appeared on her forehead, as though a thorn from the crown that encircled Christ’s head had loosed itself and penetrated her own flesh. For the next fifteen years she bore this external sign of stigmatization and union with the Lord. In spite of the pain she constantly experienced, she offered herself courageously for the physical and spiritual wellbeing of others. During the last four years of her life Rita was confined to bed and was able to eat so little that she was practically sustained on the Eucharist alone. She was, nevertheless, an inspiration to her sisters in religion and to all who came to visit her, by her patience and joyful disposition despite her great suffering. In 1457 she died aged 76. She was canonized in 1900 and is known as the Saint of the Impossible.