United Kingdom - Honiton

A rose dedicated to her.

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

At St. Rita’s Center in Honiton, we have our “official rose”, a new rose called “The Rose of Saint Rita”. The rose was cultivated and given this name to honor this incredible saint of the despairing.

The story of Saint Rita’s life tells us that in January 1457, as Rita was dying, she asked a relative to bring her a rose from the garden of her former home in Roccaporena. It was a strange request because it was in the month of January. Her relative went to the garden and to her great astonishment, she found a solitary rose in bloom. After bringing the rose to Rita’s bedside, it is recounted that the whole room was filled with the perfume of roses.

The English Shrine dedicated to St. Rita of Cascia is located near the Augustinian Recollects Center in Honiton, Devont. There, every year, on May 22nd, hundreds of her devotees visit the shrine for Mass and the traditional blessing of the roses.

After the Mass this year, the new rose was blessed and planted at the Center by Rev. Gerald Wilson, Provincial Vicar of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects. The rose is the color of a beautiful yellow lemon. Yellow was chosen because it is the symbol of joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, the sun, summer, gold and philosophy, and it is available to everyone. For information, you can visit the site www.worldofroses.com.

Honiton is also famous for its lace. At the Shrine, we have an image of Saint Rita made with our typical lace by Pat Perryman who is well-known in our city for her work. At the shrine there is also an authenticated relic of Saint Rita and a very beautiful banner made and presented to the Saint Rita Center by a devotee of the Saint from Alfaro, Spain. (from the community of Saint Rita's Shrine of Honiton, England)


Testimony also published in No. 5-2011 of From the Bees to the Roses.