St. Rita of Cascia in Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of National Shrine of St. Rita
St. Rita of Cascia in Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of National Shrine of St. Rita
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will celebrate the Feast of St. Rita of Cascia with a Mass May 22 broadcasted live from Philadelphia on the Eternal Word Television Network.

Coverage of the Mass, including a blessing of roses and veneration of a relic of St. Rita, will be livestreamed on YouTube.com/trentondiocese as well as the EWTN channel and www.ewtn.com/tv/watch-live. The Mass will begin at 11:45 a.m. from the 114-year-old National Shrine of St. Rita, 1166 South Broad St., Philadelphia, in care of the Augustinian Fathers.

St. Rita, who is known as the patron saint of hopeless causes, was born Margherita Lotti in 1381 in Cascia, Italy. Longing to enter a convent as a young girl, she reluctantly obeyed her parents’ instruction to marry Paolo Mancini and bore him two sons. After Paolo was killed and their two sons died of dysentery, Rita joined the convent at age 36. She served there until her death in 1457. Long known as a peacemaker, a tradition surrounding St. Rita prompts people asking for or offering forgiveness to leave roses on doorsteps or in mailboxes. St. Rita is one of the few Catholic saints who was a daughter, wife, mother, widow and professed religious. Her ability to foster peace, reconciliation and forgiveness continues to inspire across generations, ethnicities and faith traditions.

In anticipation of the May 22 feast day, the Shrine will hold a solemn novena from May 13-21. The novena will include both virtual and in-person opportunities for daily Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. On the feast day itself, five additional Masses will be celebrated, with the blessing of roses and veneration of a relic of St. Rita taking place at each Mass.

For more information, including the feast day and novena schedules, see the shrine website at saintritashrine.org or call 215-546-8333.