The man they chose for Rita turned out to be a very mean, unfaithful husband. He had such a hot temper that everyone in the neighborhood was afraid of him. Yet, for eighteen years, his wife patiently took all his insults. Her prayers, gentleness and goodness at last won his heart, and he returned to God. In fact, when his temper seemed about to get the best of him, he would leave the house because he did not want to make Rita feel bad, and would return when he calmed down.
The Saint's happiness over her husband's conversion did not last long, for one day he was suddenly murdered. Yet she forgave his murderers and tried to make her two sons forgive them, too. When she saw that they, instead, were determined to revenge their father's death, she prayed, "Lord, I would rather see my sons dead than see them stain their souls with sin." Her courageous prayer was answered. In one year, both boys died, and while she nursed them lovingly, Rita had the grace to persuade them to forgive, and to ask God's forgiveness for themselves.
Left alone in the world, the Saint now tried three times to enter the convent in Cascia, but that community was not permitted to accept widows. She did not give up, however, and at last, they made an exception for her. In the convent, Rita was outstanding for her obedience and charity. She had great devotion to Jesus Crucified and once, while praying, she asked Him to let her share some of His pain. One thorn from His crown of thorns pierced her forehead and made a sore that never healed. In fact, it grew so bad and gave off such an odor that St. Rita had to stay away from the other Sisters. She was happy to suffer, and died when she was seventy six years old.
If we want to convert a person who is far from God, let us pray with faith and without ceasing, until we receive this grace.