My dear friend Carly has been amazing over the last few months. I so happy for all of the support that I’ve recieved on this blog from the IF world, but it’s great to also have someone who you know and see that can relate to what you’re going through. The other day she told me that she had sent a small package to Justin and I to be a “talisman” for us during our struggle. It just arrived in the mail yesterday:
You may be wondering why she sent us a bee pendant. Well, bees are one of the symbols associated with St. Rita. Rita was born to elderly parents on May 22, 1382. Here is the story of her birth and the first appearance of the bees (source):
On Saturday, May 22, 1382 – during the reign of Pope Urban VI – in a small village, three miles from Cascia, Rita was born to Antonio Mancini and Amata Ferre. Antonio and Amata were an older pious couple who had consecrated every day of their wedded life to the service of God, spending their time caring for the poor. One night, while Amata was praying, an angel appeared to her in a vision and told her that it was the will of God that she would have a daughter who would, from her birth, be marked with a seal of sanctity. God made it known to Amata that her name would be Rita, which was given to her four days after her birth when she was baptized at St. Mary’s Church in Cascia.
Five days after her birth, a swarm of bees hovered over Rita as she slept in her cradle. “The bees alighted on her lips,…, and were seen to enter and issue forth from her partially opened mouth without harming her or causing her to awaken from her slumber.
The bees are black and white, and they still live at a monestary devoted to St. Rita. They also have no stinger. “Saint Rita has been one of the most popular Saints in the Church for centuries. She is known as the ‘Saint of the Impossible’ because of her amazing answers to prayers, as well as the remarkable events of her own life.” Rita is the patron saint of many areas, including: desperate causes, impossible causes, infertility, parenthood and sterility. I think I’m covered somewhere in there…
Carly sent along a note with the pendant so that we would know what this bee thing was all about. As I was reading it outloud to my husband my voice broke and the tears came. This means so much to me. I’m so lucky to have Carly in my life, who knows and understands what I’m going through and always seems to have the right thing to say. I can’t even explain what it means to me to have something like this, something physical that I can cling to. Something I can wear and know that, to me, it has meaning and power. I’m planning to wear this pendant every day now, to give me strength while I go through the next stage of my infertility.
St. Rita’s feast day is May 22nd. This is about the same time I will be starting with my next IUI cycle. Carly mentioned this in the note, and it seems almost pre-ordained that the feast day of the patron Saint of infertility should coinside so closly with the next step of my journey.
While Justin and I were starting our first IUI cycle our pastors, who are also very close friends of ours, were on Sabbatical. They were in Ireland for a good portion of their time off and while there, they prayed for us at a spring in Ireland that is supposed to be a powerful source of fertility. It meant a lot to us that they would think of us and do something like that for us. I like to think that their actions had something to do with our IUI success. Unfortunatly, it didn’t last. I can only hope that this new symbol can help us now that we are starting again.
Thank you Carly – we love you very much.