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Question

Dear Father Angelo,

I would like to share with you an experience I had in my life, to which I attempted several times to give an explanation, without however having the certainty of being on the right path and having understood correctly. The premise is that I am 18 years old, I am a boy and I feel quite religious; I am also passionate about Scripture and the history of the Church.

It all started four years ago, when my grandmother, who is the person for whom I really feel the greatest affection, had a cardiac arrest. She was in critical condition; she was expected not to make it. It was 11pm, I cannot forget that moment. A little earlier, I had recited a Rosary together with my paternal grandmother for the benefit of my other grandmother, and I had gone to sleep together with my little brother, holding in my hands a Rosary with the image of St. Filippo Smaldone (it is an object that to this day I still carry with me when travelling, and that I keep wrapped on my wrist every night). I do not know why, but I turned to St. Rita, asking her the grace to heal my grandmother; my words were: -St. Rita, make it so that my grandmother is well from tomorrow-. I must admit that I knew that St. Rita is known as the Saint of impossible causes, but I had never addressed her before. It is a bad thing to say, but for me she represented an anonymous Saint I knew nothing about, if not someone I had seen in passing a few months earlier in a documentary, right at the house of my grandmother who was now ill. In the morning at around 3am, my mom woke me up and told me that my grandmother was better. The next day, my grandmother was still recovering, but almost out of danger. It was morning, I will never forget it, it is something I will never forget: I realized it was St. Rita’s day. I had asked St. Rita herself to have my grandmother healed on St. Rita’s day, without knowing it was her Saint day. My grandmother recovered and is still healthy to this day.

Since then, that anonymous Saint, of whom I knew nothing, has become the reference Saint for me, my patron Saint to whom I always turn.

I have told some people about my experience, but most of them say that I am too easily influenced and that I already knew or had heard that the following day would be St. Rita’s day. But ,Father Angelo, I am completely sure I never knew. I could never figure out why I turned to St. Rita, since my parents are very devoted to Padre Pio and St. Filippo Smaldone. I cannot understand why: I respect and pray to the aforementioned saints and to my patron saint St. Anthony of Padua, but that day I turned just to St. Rita, who is celebrated the following day.

I have always considered this certainly not as a miracle, but as a sort of “inspiration”, as if St. Rita that day wanted to tell me that she was beside me and was protecting me. Do you think I got it wrong? Is it a delusion of my mind? Is my reading of this possible? Can a saint communicate with us? Isn’t it wrong to rely on a Saint other than the Saint to whom we were entrusted at the time of our baptism?

I will remember you in my prayers tonight.

I send you my best wishes.

p.s. I did some research, thanks to my paternal grandmother, and I discovered that my great-grandmother was very devoted to St. Rita, but that afterwards this devotion “cooled down” considerably in my family.

While waiting for your answer, Father Angelo, I ask you for a prayer for my family and for my grandmother, to whom I am most attached and who is for me the most precious gift from the Lord. I also ask you for a prayer for my future. I would like to undertake medical studies and I propose, if I succeed, to do so much good to the humble and the marginalized, to recognize in their face the face of the Lord, through the beauty of giving oneself to others.


Answer from the priest

Dear Son,

1. I am not surprised at all that the Lord inspired you to pray to St. Rita to give you a sign, valid for the whole of your life, that the intercession of this Saint, invoked in desperate or impossible cases, is particularly powerful.

2. The Church in which I exercise my ministry is dedicated to St. Rita.

I know how great the devotion to this Saint is and how large a stream of people (tens of thousands of them) comes to our Church on her feast.

Even people who never go to church make it a point of honor to come for St. Rita and take the blessed rose.

3. Who knows if that inspiration that came from God was granted due to the prayers of your great-grandmother so devoted to St. Rita?

This is also a good sign.

Also, God further glorifies his Saints on the day of their feast, by granting them allowance to dispense many acts of grace.

This is why we must prepare ourselves spiritually for their feasts in order to be able to welcome the acts of grace that God wants to bestow on us.

4. The devotion to St. Rita, after such a prodigious event like that which happened to your grandmother, must resume in your family.

You cannot let yourselves forget it. You all must be eternally grateful to her.

5. St. Teresa of Avila, who is a doctor of the Church, speaking of St. Joseph, almost incidentally makes a great statement and says: “It seems that to other saints God has granted to assist us in this or that need, while I experienced that the glorious Saint Joseph extends his patronage over all of them” (Life 6,6).

It is true that God bestows an individual patronage on each of the various Saints.

In particular, he bestowed on St. Anthony the patronage on the finding of lost objects.

On St. Vincenzo Ferreri, the patronage on being freed from the evils caused by the wickedness of men, that is, from evil spells.

On St. Rita he bestowed the patronage on impossible causes or the most desperate cases.

St. Rita always answers when she is invoked. But she responds in particular in the most desperate cases, because this is the scope of her intercession and protection.

Thank you for remembering me in your prayers the night you wrote to me.

I gladly assure you of my prayers for your future, for your family, and for your grandmother.

I bless you and I wish you well.

Father Angelo