Celebrations in honour of Saint Rita

The month of May, for us Augustinians and for so many devotees around the world, is linked to the figure of the great Augustinian nun, Saint Rita of Cascia. Saint Rita lived in Umbria in Italy, more than 600 years ago, but the different experiences that life has brought together, have made her a figure that appeals so much even to our times. She lived the challanges of married life, the experience of a mother who even lost her sons, the call to the consecrated life as an Augustinian nun, and in the last years of her life God granted her the grace to experience closely the suffering of his Son through a thorn on her forehead. In all this she lived heroically the Christian virtues particularly, love, forgiveness, faith, and total disposition to the will of God.

Along the 20th century, the devotion to Saint Rita spread rapidly, not only in Italy, but also in so many countries around the world. The Augustinians worked hard to spread such devotion presenting her to the people of God as a model of hope in the difficulties of life. Many devotees keep Thursdays as the day to resort to her with their difficulties and problems humbly requesting her intercession to deliver their prayer to God almighty.

In Malta the national centre of devotion to the Saint is the Parish Church of St. Augustine in Valletta. This year, being that the 22nd will fall on a Sunday, and it will also coincide with the Carnival celebrations in Valletta, the Feast in Valletta will be celebrated on Thursday, May 19th. On that day there will also be a devotional pilgrimage with the statue of the Saint leaving the Church at 5.30pm, and upon entering there will be a solemn Mass starting at 7.15pm. The devotional pilgrimage in Victoria, Gozo, will also take place on Thursday 19 May, while the feast of the Saint at the Church of Saint Augustine in Victoria, Gozo, will still be celebrated on Sunday 22 May.

The feast of Saint Rita is also celebrated in the other Augustinian churches. It will actually be celebrated on Saturday 15 May at St. Nicholas Church in Tarxien, and on Saturday 21 May at St. Mark's Church in Rabat and at Our Lady of Good Council in Paceville. The 9.30am Mass, broadcast on TVM and the Church's media on Sunday 22 May will be held at Saint Augustine Parish Church in Valletta. For more details it is good to look for the respective program, in the Church which is most comfortable for him to continue to pray together for the intercession of the saint of the impossible that we love so much.

 


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