Author: Joseph Sicardo
Publisher: Ravenio Books
The Church is a faithful custodian of the “Lives of the Saints,” of those books which contain the wonderful and glorious deeds of her children who have lived and died in the odor of sanctity. And she looks on every “Life of a Saint” as a guidebook pointing out the way to Heaven to all Christians, who are only travelers on the way to their true home. After the Bible and the Catechism there is no book more precious in the eyes of Mother Church than a “Life of a Saint.” It is the dearest wish of Mother Church that her children should frequently read the lives of the Saints; by so doing they gradually become acquainted with a select society to which, in a great measure, they will be forced to raise the standard of their daily lives. Our Holy Father St. Augustine is a striking example of what the reading of the lives of the Saints may do. A friend of his, Alipius by name, gave him the life of St. Anthony the Abbot. Augustine read it, and was so extremely affected by what he read that it was one main cause of his conversion. Looking down the long calendar of saints, glancing carefully over the Church’s long honor list of men and women whose names were held in veneration in their days, we find no name crowned with a greater halo of glory and honor than that of St. Rita, the humble Augustinian nun of Cascia, now venerated under the singular title of the Saint of the Impossible. It is more than 450 years since St. Rita departed this life to be united forever to her Lord and spouse Jesus Christ, and yet her name is still held in benediction, not only among the faithful of Italy, her native country, but also among the faithful of the rest of Europe, who vie with the people of South and North America in honoring and venerating our illustrious Saint. Among the many magnificent “Lives of St. Rita” written by the Italian and Spanish Augustinians, we prefer that written by our brother religious, Father Joseph Sicardo. As his book has had a large propaganda in Spain, the Philippine Islands and in Spanish America, we have hopes that the same book, garbed in an English dress, will help to keep alive that fire of devotion which now burns in the hearts of so many clients of St. Rita in North America. That our translation of Father Sicardo’s Life of St. Rita may have the result of further increasing not only the veneration, but also the number, of the clients of our sister, St. Rita, is our only wish and ambition.