- Born in Italy to parents who waited many years for her, their only child. She showed great piety and devotion at a very early age. She was known by many for her beauty.
- Her elderly parents insisted that she marry when she was only 12.
- In the beginning of the marriage, she and her husband seemed to be blissfully happy, having two sons, but her husband became cruel and unfaithful which she bore with great patience and gentleness.
- Her sons insisted on being like their father. She pleaded with God that they would not die in mortal sin.
- After 18 years her husband repented and changed his ways but was killed by the riotous people (they were like modern day gangs) that he used to hang out with.
- Her sons wanted to exact vengeance on the murderers but they both contracted a deadly illness. Rita stayed by their side to help them in their final hours and was rewarded with seeing them both repent of the evil they had planned.
- She tried to enter a convent but was turned down because she was not a virgin. However, she was persistent and was finally accepted.
In the convent, she was known for her extraordinary patience in dealing with the infirm, her persistence in praying for the conversion of sinners, and her devotion to our Lord in His Passion, at one point receiving the thorn of Christ in her head after praying. She had to be cloistered after this.
*see “Authentic Femininity, Lived” for references