The Rose

At the end of her life, sick and bedridden, Rita asks one of her cousins on a visit from Roccaporena to bring her two figs and a rose from the garden of the family home. But it is winter and her cousin does as she asks, thinking it is due to the delirium caused by illness. At the family home, the young relative finds a rose and two figs in the snow and, astonished, rushes to take them back to Rita in Cascia.

Since then, the rose has the symbol of Rita par excellence: like the rose, Rita has been able to flourish in spite of the thorns that life has reserved for her, donating the good perfume of Christ and melting the icy winter of many hearts. On the other hand, the two figs may represent her sons and the children and the awareness that, in spite of everything, they have been saved.

The miracle of the roses and figs in winter has been made plausible by various testimonies collected in the process for her beatification in 1626.

Coming out of the door near the cell of Saint Rita, it is possible to see the rose garden in a splendid glimpse of the ancient monastery, created to recall this miracle. The rose garden that exists today was planted in the last century. The garden of Saint Rita, where her cousin picked the rose and the figs under the snow, is in Roccaporena, the birthplace of Rita, about 5 km from Cascia.

The flower symbol of Saint Rita also features in the name of monastery’s magazine "From the Bees to the Roses" and the traditional "Blessing of the Roses", which takes place every year after the Pontifical Mass on 22 May, the Feast of Saint Rita of Cascia, in front of the Basilica.