Miraculous Bees of Saint Rita of Cascia
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Saint Rita of Cascia and the Miraculous bees
Born of a very devout mother and father who, in times when families were feuding amongst themselves, were called by some, "Jesus Christ's peacemakers," it would appear from the very moment of her birth, God had special designs on Rita.
There is a tradition in Roccaporena that as an infant, while she slept in a basket, in the fields where her parents were working, white bees swarmed around Rita's open mouth.
Not only did the bees not sting her, but it is said that they dropped honey into her mouth without her uttering a cry of warning to her parents.
One of the farmers, seeing the swarm of bees, tried to disperse them with his arm that had been deeply wounded by a scythe. His arm stopped bleeding and he was immediately healed.
Almost two hundred years after she died, a strange thing began to happen. At the Monastery in Cascia, white bees came out of the walls of the Monastery during Holy Week of each year and remained until the feast day of St. Rita, May 22nd, when they returned to hibernation until Holy Week of the following year.
Pope Urban VIII, learning of the mysterious bees which buzzed about the walls of the Monastery where St. Rita had lived, requested that one of the them be brought to him in Rome.
After a careful examination of the bee, he tied a silk thread around it; then set it free, only to have it later discovered in its hive at the Monastery in Cascia, 138 kilometers away. And so the tradition of the bees began.
The holes in the wall where the bees traditionally remain until the following year, are plainly in view for pilgrims journeying till today to the Monastery. Coincidence or miracle? We are believers in miracles!
When we see the Lord's intervention in a physical way that would otherwise be considered unconvenional or phenomenal, for us, it's just His way of letting us know that He is with us, watching over us. Since the very breath we breathe is a miracle, we think we can call the extraordinary miraculous.
Her parents, without ever having learned how to read or write, taught Rita from the time she was a child, all about Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and some of the better known Saints.
Rita, much the same as her counterpart St. Catherine of Siena, was never schooled to read or write. Whereas St. Catherine was miraculously given the grace to read by Our Lord Jesus, St. Rita's only book was the Crucifix.
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