During Lent of the year 1443, in Cascia, St. James of the Marches, a great preacher of his day, gave a very personal, passionate sermon on our Lord to the nuns. Rita was so taken by the sermon that she returned to the monastery and began to pray, with all her heart and soul, before a fresco of Jesus crucified. As she humbly asked for a part of His suffering on the Cross, admitting that she was unworthy to share His full Passion on Calvary, a thorn fell from the beloved head of our Savior and pierced the forehead of St. Rita. She immediately began to bleed profusely, and the wound that kept bleeding has been accepted by all as the gift of the stigmata of our Lord...

With the wound of St. Rita, came humiliation, estrangement and isolation. The wound had such a pungent, putrid odor emanating from it that she had to suffer the ostracism and rejection of her fellow nuns who, at best, feared it might be infectious and, at worst, could not bear the smell. She spent the next fifteen years alone, suffering more and more excruciating physical pain. But although she was isolated from her community in a small cell far away from any of the consoling companionship of other Nuns, she had the Consoler! Instead of looking toward herself and her pain, she focused on Jesus and His crucified head of thorns and all the thorns in her life were turned into roses of love by her Lord as she offered them to Him.

Saints and Other Powerful Women In The Church
Bob and Penny Lord