Thursday, April 7, 2011

Italy Day 10 {Cascia: St. Rita}

Family snap shot in Cascia; taken with auto timer on our point and shoot.

St. Rita of Cascia's life is an inspiration to many, and her intercession is often sought for hopeless causes and difficult marriages.  Her incorrupt body is displayed at the Basilica of St. Rita in Cascia, a small town on a small road somewhere between Assisi and Subiaco.  We drove through a 4K tunnel (2.5 miles) en route, and found ourselves on freakishly high cliff-side hairpin turns, one after another, our abdominal muscles sore from the ride.  "We'll have time for a full act of contrition if we go off the road here!" Zac offered on one of the exhilarating switch backs.  Funny thing is, the map showed this journey as a straight line!  All the twists and turns paid off, as our brief visit to St. Rita's Basilica gave us a break for prayer, contemplation and a family picnic with territorial views of the region.

Many miracles are displayed in Cascia's basilica, including two incorrupt bodies and a 700 year old Eucharistic Miracle.  If anyone doubts the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, this Eucharistic Miracle could ignite his faith.

In 1330, a consecrated Host (the Holy Eucharist) was hastily removed from the tabernacle and placed in a prayer book (breviary) by a priest on his way to administer the sacraments to a dying peasant.  After hearing the sick man's confession, the priest opened his breviary to retrieve the Holy Eucharist, and to his astonishment found that the white host has bloodied the pages of his book.   Father knew he had been irreverent and went immediately to Siena's Augustinian Priory to consult with Fr. Simone Fidati of Cascia, known for his holiness.  The Sacred Host was put on display to teach Christians about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  Seeing this miracle was a powerful experience for us, and a call to prayer for Christian unity.

Twisted photo of the backseat gang.

1 comment:

Catherine Grace said...

Aw! So sweet! Love the last picture :) However, I was munching on breakfast when I saw the second picture, so I didn't look too long at it. Maybe later when I'm not eating...
You are all terribly missed! Come back and tell us all about your adventures! It's better in person!!!
<3 Cathy