Rita Ascends to Heaven

Seriously ill in the winter preceding her death, Rita spends long periods in her cell. Probably nostalgia for her Roccaporena and the memory of Paolo and her sons makes itself felt. Perhaps Rita, who has always prayed for their souls, now feels that her end is near, feels a pain in her heart : to know whether the Lord has accepted her sufferings and prayers in expiation of the sins of her loved ones. She seeks a sign of Love and heaven answers her.

At this point, yet another small sacrifice of deep human tenderness could enter and be explained. She asks a relative who has come to visit her to go into her garden in Roccaporena and pick a rose and two figs.It is a cold and snowy January. The relative goes to the garden and find the rose and two figs she has been asked for, picks them and takes them to Rita. Her prayers have been answered: her murdered husband and two sons who died one after the other have been welcomed by God into Heaven.

With a body now proven by her many sufferings, Rita meets the dawn of her heavenly encounter in the night between 21 and 22 May in 1447. Tradition has it that at this moment the bells of the Monastery, moved by invisible hands, start ringing, summoning the citizens of Cascia, as if by heavenly inspiration, to the Monastery to venerate the Holy nun.