A battered wife
Rita's husband was an angry, abusive man and she suffered with him for 18 years.
He was also involved in a situation that was a cross between a long-running political feud and gang warfare, which eventually led to his being murdered.
Death followed soon after for Rita's sons as well.
Rita then entered the religious life, at the age of 36.
She would live a life of penance, prayer, charity and peacemaking for 40 years.
St. Rita of Cascia died at the Augustinian convent at Cascia, Italy, on this very day 549 years ago.