Saint Rita wanted to become a nun, but in obedience to her elderly parents, she married. Her husband was the source of much suffering as he was cruel to her, but she repaid his perfidy with prayer and kind attention to him: he was converted in time, becoming most considerate of others and God-fearing. Alas, he was murdered.
Rita discovered that her two sons were thinking of avenging their father's murder and she feared that they would actually undertake such an action. With heroic love for their souls, she begged God to take them rather an permit them to commit this mortal sin. Not long afterward, they both died, after preparing themselves to face God.
Left alone without her family, St. Rita devoted herself to prayer, penance, and works of charity. After a time she applied for admittance to the Augustinian 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, about the year 1411.
In the convent, Sr. Rita's life was marked by great charity and severe penances. Her prayers for others obtained 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 her a thorn wound in her forehead. It was exceedingly painful and emitted 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.