Despite her desire to join a convent, St Rita's family arranged her marriage to a rich but cruel man. Her husband had many enemies which eventually led to his being murdered. Against her wishes, her sons decided to avenge their father. St Rita prayed to God, asking Him to take her sons before they can commit murder, a mortal sin. Her prayers were answered when both of her sons died of dysentery without having followed through with their plans.
She then joined a convent, where she remained for the rest of her life. About the age of 60, while praying, a wound appeared on her forehead. Just as though a single thorn from Jesus's crown had inflicted the cut upon her. This wound became considered a partial Stigmata and remained with her until her death at age 76.
St Rita is the patron of marriage difficulties, abuse victims, sterility, loneliness and widows. She has also, together with St Jude, become the patron of lost causes.
A stirring image of St Rita praying while receiving her stigmatic wound appears on the front of this medal.
On the reverse:
The medal measures 1 inch high including the hanging loop by 5/8 inch wide.