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This sole biography in English of this 15th century Umbrian saint is so inadequate in presentation, it has little to recommend it. This St. Rita was a peasant who wanted to be a religious from an early age but was pressured into marriage by her elderly parents. Her husband, a scoundrel, is eventually won over by her saintliness. After the death of her husband and two sons, she enters a convent and becomes a mystic afflicted with a wound in her forehead, suffering she prayed God would give her. The wound disappears miraculously when she sets out to go to Rome for the Holy year, 1450. The author makes St. Rita appear unnaturally submissive and good to the point of incredibility. At best it is a pious tale which could be appreciated only by the blindly insatiable. Why it should be published when there are so many good subjects to be offered for the edification of Catholics is difficult to understand. It cannot possibly sell.

Pub Date: March 2nd, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday