As Patron Saint of the Impossible,
Saint Rita provides intercession to many who are sick, distraught, or struggling with infertility.
Throughout her life, Saint Rita handled hardships with patience and grace - from the murder of her husband to the death of her sons. As a nun, she lived with the stigmata on her forehead for over a decade. As a peacemaker, she sought to bring healing among people by fostering discourse and offering a patient, listening ear.
To mark these attributes, the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia holds a Healing Mass every third Sunday of the month, September through May, at 12 noon.
Healing Masses include anointing with St. Rita holy oil, a recitation of the Novena to Saint Rita, and veneration of her relics.
We welcome all who seek healing and health - physical, spiritual, mental, and relational - to join us as we implore the powerful intercession of our patroness, the saint of the impossible.
Healing Masses: Early 2019
All Healing Masses are at 12 noon in the Upper Shrine.
Sunday, April 21, 2019 at noon (Easter Sunday) - Fr. Michael Sullivan, O.S.A.
Sunday, May 19, 2019 at noon (Solemn Novena) - Fr. Rob Hagan, O.S.A.
Homilies that Help to Heal the Spirit
The following quotes were taken from past Healing Mass homilies.
“What is Jesus saying to us by holding up what obviously is the opposite of what we strive for in life and saying: this is a good thing? Being hungry and poor and sad and misjudged. He put it in the proper context and said: this is what happens now. And if you handle it as people of faith, you will get something better. For people of faith, there is a reward.
-Fr. Joe Genito, O.S.A., February 17, 2019
“There comes a time when our hearts are broken, when our dreams are shattered. There is absolutely no way to escape these moments. It’s part of our human condition, and we all experience it. But the point is that the darkest moments of our lives are when the brightest light can shine forth. And that light is Jesus Christ.
Our faith always sustains us, especially when things are going well. But when things are bad, it’s like the wine runs out. It’s at this point - this point of emptiness, this point of darkness - that the Gospel comes across loud and clear. It’s at this point that Jesus enters into our life to make the darkness into light, to draw forth wine out of water, to turn sorrow into joy.
And sometimes, like good wine maturing, it takes time to let our faith transform our lives.”
- Fr. Michael Hughes, O.S.A., January 20, 2019
“Our pain and suffering, or the pain and suffering of others can be a stumbling block to our rejoicing. But John the Baptist tells us that the Lord is near and we should rejoice in what we have, but be open and ready for the coming of the Lord.
…So while we may not have a miraculous cure at this celebration, we are called to be caregivers, to help others along the way, to be grateful to those who help us.
…Saint Rita had the presence of the Lord in her life, but she often had to wait in expectation for the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to her.”
- Fr. Gary McCloskey, O.S.A., December 16, 2018
"As you all know, the struggle to heal our troubled bodies, minds and spirits can be a long one, and we need the gifts of faith and hope to carry our daily cross. In the face of this, let us join with Rita in her thirst for peace by praying for the gift of courage: courage to be all that we can be as followers of Christ; courage to seek and speak the truth, in particular, when the world does not want to hear the truth; courage to seek dialogue and common ground instead of emphasizing differences and seeking solutions through power and might; and courage to be humble, meek and patient in the midst of a world that wants it all NOW and seeks glitter and fame over substance and truth."
- Fr. Jack Deegan, O.S.A., November 18, 2018
“What a joy to come together as family, friends, as community to celebrate the Mass together. We celebrate Jesus’s victory over death, over darkness, over sin. Not 2,000 years ago, but today! In us! With joy in our hearts because we know we are loved, we know we are saved, we pray as we sing: Glory to God in the Highest!
- Fr. Art Purcaro, O.S.A., October 21, 2018
“The adversaries of life never win. Whether the sickness and suffering of our world are physical or spiritual, it is our Christ who spoke to Satan to his face and says for us, “hit the road.” Today, it is only for us to admit that there are some areas in our hearts or spirits or bodies that are suffering. If you try to escape it, you will do a lot of running. Rather, experience what God has in his plan for you. God is with us from the beginning in the middle and until the end.”
- Fr. Keith Hollis, O.S.A., February 18, 2018
“You come for healing. You come for comfort and God says: go out and give that healing and comfort to someone else!
Today, the church urges you to rejoice in God’s love for you! And then when this Mass, this celebration, is over, we go out and share that joy in the world."
- Fr. Art Purcaro, O.S.A., December 17, 2017 - Gaudete Sunday
“St. Augustine said, “When the Jesus in me loves the Jesus in you, we experience Christ loving himself.” And you know who knew that well? St. Rita.”
- Fr. Michael Sullivan, O.S.A., November 19, 2017
"Jesus shows us the boundless nature of Christian forgiveness."
- Fr. Jim Keating, O.S.A., September 17, 2017