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Novena to St. Rita of Cascia
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St. Rita wanted to become a nun, but in obedience to her aged parents, she married.  Her husband caused her much suffering, but she repaid his cruelty with prayer and kindness.  In time he was converted, becoming considerate and God-fearing.  But St. Rita was to undergo another great sorrow when her husband was murdered.
St. Rita then found that her two sons were entertaining thoughts of avenging their father's murder; she feared they would put their desires into effect in accord with the evil custom of the Vendetta.  With heroic love for their souls, she begged God to take them from this life rather than allow them to commit this great sin.  Not long afterward they both died, after preparing themselves to meet God.
Bereft of spouse and children, St. Rita devoted herself to prayer, penance and works of charity.  After a time she applied for admittance to the Augustianian Convent in Cascia.  She was refused, but after praying to her three special patron saints--St. John the Baptist, St. Augustine and St. Nicholas of Tolentino--she miraculously entered the convent and was allowed to remain.  This took place around the year 1411.
In the convent, St. Rita's life was marked by great charity and severe penances.  Her prayers obtained for others remarkable cures, deliverance from the devil and other special favors from God.
So that she might share in the pain of His Crown of Thorns, Our Lord gave St. Rita a thorn would in her forehead.  It was very painful and gave off a disagreeable odor, yet she considered it a very great grace.  She prayed, "O loving Jesus, increase my patience according as my sufferings increase."  The wound lasted the rest of her life.
St. Rita died on May 22, 1457 at the age of 76.  People flocked to the convent to pay their last respects.  Innumerable miracles took place through her intercession, and devotion to her spread far and wide.
St. Rita's body was preserved perfectly incorrupt for several centuries, and at times it gave off a sweet fragrance.  At the beatification ceremony, the body of the Saint raised itself up and opened its eyes.
Novena to St. Rita of Cascia
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
     Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.  Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.  And you shall renew the face of the earth.
     Let us pray:
     O God, who instructs the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same spirit to savor what is right, and always to rejoice in his consolation.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Litany of St. Rita of Cascia
Lord, have mercy on us. 
     Christ have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.  Christ, hear us. 
     Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven,
     Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
     Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
     Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, on God,
     Have mercy on us.
Immaculate Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of purest love, pray for us.
Holy Mary, pierced with a sword of grief, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Comforter of the sick, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Queen of all the saints, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Model of life for St. Rita, pray for us.
O Saint Rita, our advocate and protectress, pray for us.
O Saint Rita, beloved of the Lord,
O Saint Rita, given special grace from Heaven,
O Saint Rita, remarkable in childhood,
O Saint Rita, model of obedience to God's will,
O Saint Rita, of untiring patience,
O Saint Rita, model of the Christian mothers,
O Saint Rita, mirror for Christian spouses,
O Saint Rita, heroic in sacrifice,
O Saint Rita, generous in forgiving,
O Saint Rita, martyr in penitence,
O Saint Rita, embracing humility and poverty,
O Saint Rita, exemplary as a widow,
O Saint Rita, prompt to answer the divine call,
O Saint Rita, patient in suffering,
O Saint Rita, mirror of religious observance,
O Saint Rita, mystical rose of every virtue,
O Saint Rita, enamored of the Passion of Christ
O Saint Rita, pierced with a thorn,
O Saint Rita, in ecstasy before the Blessed Sacrament,
O Saint Rita, consumed with Divine Love,
O Saint Rita, received into heaven with joy,
O Saint Rita, incorrupt in your chaste body,
O Saint Rita, advocate of impossible cases,
O Saint Rita, persevering in prayer,
O Saint Rita, help of those in need,

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
     Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
     Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
     Have mercy on us.
Lord, You have signed Your servant Rita with the marks of Your love and Passion.
     Let us pray:
     O God, who bestowed on St. Rita such grace that she loved her enemies, and bore in her heart and on her forehead the mark of Your love and Passion, grant us, we beseech You, through her merits and intercession, a love for our enemies.  Through our contemplation of Your sufferings and Passion, may we merit the reward promised to the meek and suffering.  You live and reign forever.  Amen.
Prayer of Petition
     Glorious St. Rita, patroness of those in need, your intercession with the Lord is most powerful.  Through the favors obtained by your prayers you have been called "Advocate of hopeless and even impossible cases."  St. Rita, humble and pure, patient and compassionate lover of Christ Crucified!  We have confidence that everyone who has recourse to you will find comfort and relief.  Listen to our petitions and show your power with God on our behalf.  Obtain our petitions for us if they are for the greater honor of God, and for our good.  We promise, if our petitions are granted, to make known your favor and to glorify God for his gift.  Relying on your power with the merciful Savior, we ask of you (mention your request here).
     By the singular merits of your childhood, obtain our request for us.
     By your perfect union with the Divine Will, obtain our request for us.
     By your acceptance of troubles in your married life, obtain our request for us.
     By the anguish felt at the murder of your husband, obtain our request for us.
     By the surrender of your children rather than have them offend God, obtain our request for us.
     By your miraculous entrance into the convent, obtain our request for us.
     By your daily penance and fasting, obtain our request for us.
     By your courage and joy in bearing the mark of the Crucified Savior, obtain our request for us.
     By the Divine Love that consumed your life, obtain our request for us.
     By your devotion in receiving the Blessed Sacrament, obtain our request for us.
     By the happiness you felt in leaving this life for union with Christ, obtain our request for us.
     By the example you have given to people of every state of life, obtain our request for us.
     Pray for us, St. Rita, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
     Let us pray:
     Heavenly Father!  In Your infinite love and mercy You heed the prayer of Your beloved servant Rita.  You graciously grant favors, through her intercession, which are considered impossible to human skill and effort.  Relying on her compassionate love we ask You to assist us in our trials and difficulties.  Let unbelievers know that You are the helper of the humble, the defender of the weak, and the strength of those who trust in You.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.