This week we celebrate the feast day of St. Rita of Cascia, the powerful patroness of impossible causes, reconciliation and healing.  We visit her shrine in Cascia during our pilgrimages through Italy during the Christmas and Easter seasons.

For those that cannot join us on these particular pilgrimages or for those that want to increase their knowledge and or devotion to this saint, there is another option to encounter St. Rita.  There is the National Shrine to St. Rita located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States of America.  Whether you schedule a special trip to visit or make time during a vacation or business trip, this will be a special time of prayer and encounter during your spiritual journey.

The following ideas are offered to develop your own pilgrimage to the shrine:

  1. Purchase and read a book of writings by the saint or about the saint’s life. The Gift Shop of the National Shrine of St Rita of Cascia has a selection of books about the saint.   There is also a video of her life available for purchase.
  2. View the information on the Shrine website about events and facilities. The facilities include an Upper Shrine for historical tours and celebration of Mass. The Lower Shrine is for reflection and prayer.  There is a Blessed Sacrament Chapel for Adoration and weekday Masses and a Conference room for Conversation and meals.
  3. The Shrine offers a Tour, Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Private Prayer, Reconciliation, Novena Prayers and Veneration of the Relic (on Wednesdays or by appointment) and a gift shop.  Schedule the tour to learn more about St. Rita, the Catholic symbolism in the statues and murals found in the church and hear stories of other pilgrims and/or saints.
  4. Plan time for prayer, reflection and contemplation.
  5. Start a novena to the saint nine days prior to your visit to the Shrine, ending the day of your visit so you can pray the last prayer in the shrine.
  6. If possible, plan to attend on the saint’s feast day and participate in some or all of the special events.

While in Philadelphia, you may want to visit the two other shrines located in this city: the St John Neumann Shrine and The Miraculous Medal Shrine.  Details about those shrines and devotions will be the topic of a future post.

St. Rita, patron of impossible causes, pray for us!


Note: Feature photo above is of the interior of the National Shrine to St Rita located in Philadelphia.  Photo Credit:  Creator:Reverend Daniel McLaughlin, Copyright:Copyright © 2012 Daniel McLaughlin, OSA, Information extracted from IPTC Photo Metadata