Cascia: visit the places of Santa Rita in Umbria

What to see in Cascia, visit the places where he lived Santa Rita, starting with the history in a matter of deep spirituality until Sanctuary.

Guide Cascia

Cascia, a small town located in the province of Perugia in Umbria, stands on the slopes of a hill at an altitude of 653 meters above sea level. The place where today stands Cascia was an important center in Roman times called Cursula, as witnessed by various archaeological discoveries occurred on the territory. Among these testimonies stand the important architectural remains of the temple of Villa San Silvestro. After a devastating earthquake in 63 BC, was named first Cursula Cassia, from the surname of a noble Roman family, later assuming the name of Cascia.

With the collapse of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the barbarians began plundering and invasions of the Lombards and Franks, until the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Otto I, donated much of Cascia and Valnerina to the Pontiff. After the Mille was born Castrum Cassiae, ie the fortified castle on the hill that was called to St. Augustine. In 1198, the Swabian Duke of Spoleto, put the government of the city by the Emperor Barbarossa, was forced to submit to Pope Innocent III, who favored a form of self-administration that led to the birth of the City.

The fifteenth century was characterized by an important flowering of the arts, crafts and trade, which also continued in the first half of the sixteenth century when the municipal autonomy was exhausted and Commissioner papal replaced around the mayor. However Cascia was linked to the Papal States, excluding the brief Napoleonic period, until 1860, when it became part of the Kingdom of Italy. The town of Cascia is known because in 1381 in Roccaporena (about 5 Km. From Cascia), Santa Rita was born, she was baptized in Cascia with the name of Margaret, was proclaimed Santa d Pope Leo XIII May 24, 1900.

At sixteen he married Rita Paul F. Mancini, had two sons, led a simple life and full of prayer, helped her husband to be converted and live honestly, until he was murdered, a victim of one of the factions. Rita was able to forgive the killers, while the children were tempted by revenge, but their mother was praying lest you ruined humanly and spiritually. Both died of the disease at a young age.

So Rita was left alone, with the power of prayer dedicated himself to reconcile families and to pacify those, before entering the Augustinian monastery of St. Mary Magdalene in Cascia, where he lived for forty years, praying, serving God and neighbor with joy, always attentive to the problems of its environment and of the Church of his time. He died May 22, 1457 and May 18, 1947 from his bones rest in an urn in his sanctuary. The old part of the monastery Saint Rita dates back to 1200 and was dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. Between 1938 and 1947 the present church was built to replace an earlier, rebuilt in 1557 and already dedicated to Santa Rita.

What to see in Cascia

Church of St. Augustine is located in the vicinity of the fortress, the highest point of the hill. It was built in 1059, on the ruins of a pagan temple, and was later expanded in 1380. Of note, under the current church building, a part of what remains of the previous church decorations Umbria Marche of a certain historical value.

Sanctuary of Santa Rita is the main destination for those coming to Cascia, built in the period between 1937 and 1947 in the same place where the ancient Augustinian church, which was adjacent to the monastery where St. Rita died in 1457, in the most High in the historic center of Cascia, perfectly inserted in the urban context.

The two pillars on the sides of the front door, carved report important episodes of the life of the saint, the altar is finished instead with reliefs depicting the Last Supper, also contains the body of Christ that Simone Trust, Blessed order St. Augustine, brought in Cascia. The chapel dedicated to St. Rita, protected by a large wrought iron gate, preserves the body of the saint, while in the Chapel of Consolation, under the altar, is the body of the Blessed Simon Trust. The modern lower basilica, inaugurated in 1988, presents a Greek cross plan, below it stood an ancient crypt.

Monastery of Santa Rita: place to the left of the basilica, in this place are preserved evidence relating to the life of the Holy and the cell where he died, within which lies the tomb where he was deposed in 1457.