Sainte Rita in Nice: roses, stigmata and impossible causes
Raised in the 13th century but completely refit out in the 17th century, this is the church of the Annunciation (Annonciation in French)! In the past dedicated to saint Giaume ("Jack" in patois), people from Nice often call this church "church of Sainte-Rita".
Rita, the Italian patron saint of the desperate causes, dearly beloved by people here! But who are you, Rita? She was born in 1381 in Italy. Rita of Cascia was a young Augustine nun, often represented with a big wound on the forehead, a pretty unsavoury injury that she bore until she died.
Was she ill? Probably, but people thought it was a sign from God! Kind of stigmata, you know: this lady wanted to suffer as Jesus suffered, so her wish was made come true: a kind of big wound let by the Crown of Thorns!
Rita’s cult is very important in Nice. The tradition says people from Nice gave her jewels and hung them to her statue, in the church! They also celebrate Rita in Corsica and in Provence, where people give her roses' garlands: because the legend says roses blossom for her all the year!