St. Rita, whose feast day is today, May 22nd, is the patroness of ‘impossible cases,’ as well as women in abusive marriages, mothers and those with serious illnesses and especially of wounds. A lot of that is appropriate for anyone in recovery, since we’ve experienced abuse and have given it, as well as succumbing to various illnesses. But there’s some more stuff thay I gleaned from reading a biography on her. (St. Rita: Saint of the Impossible)
In the opening chapters of her life, the words “humility and patience” kept being repeated. They were her tools to deal with many things afflicting her: her parents’ refusal to allow her to enter a convent, her abusive husband (and these tools were critical in converting him into being the model of a devoted husband,) her children who were intent on fulfilling a vendetta against her husband’s murderers, and her later illnesses in religious life.
Although her children were still intent on making good on the vendetta, out of fear for their immortal soul she prayed that God would either convert them or take them from life before they committed the mortal sin of murder. They died before they accomplished their task. That is interesting: how many would implore God to take their children’s lives to prevent a mortal sin? Rita was more concerned for her son’s immortal lives that their temporal existence. That is love; sacrificial love.
Her husband was afflicted with passions. I’m talking about explosive tempers, violent behavior, and riotous living. Those of us who are alcoholics and addicts can relate: even though we may not exhibit the abuse that her husband Paolo Mancini did, we often lack what is called ’emotional sobriety.’ We are ‘dry drunks’ from time to time or we otherwise display behavior ‘not quite serene’. We can ask St. Rita for help in this regard.
Passions, and our lack of control over them, can lead to other problems, such as being governed by anxiety and fear. Although anxiety and fear may be prudent feelings nowadays, we should not allow them to control us to the point of affecting our relations with other people as well as our own duties.
So, St. Rita has a lot to offer people in recovery. Apart from her traditional clients, her spirituality is one that can be of tremendous use for addicts and alcoholics in coping with the common travails of life.
So, look into her life. See about getting the book I linked to up above. I will soon post a list of resources on her life as well as on devotions to her.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)