As a young adult, Rita suffered a severe stomach ailment while her mother had debilitationg depression; life was gloomy and overwhelming. After the medical community was unable to help her, Rita, at her mother's request, went to visit a local mystic named, Rhoda Wise.
Rhoda Wise was a local woman that had been healed of a severe illness by the Lord. After her own healing she was visited by Jesus and St Therese of Lisieux.
"In the years between Rhoda’s cure and her death, she saw Our Lord and St. Therese twenty times. She suffered the visible stigmata every First Friday from 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. for 2 ½ years from 1942 through 1945. Thereafter, she suffered invisible wounds until her death.
Our Lord appeared to her the last time on June 28, 1948, just ten days before her death and told her: “Tell the people not nearly enough of them are saying the daily Rosary; they must say the Rosary for the conversion of Russia…” At this time Jesus showed her His Sacred Heart, His bleeding heart." from www.rhodawise.com
Rhoda instructed Rita to make a novena (nine days of prayer) to St. Therese of Lisieux, imploring the Lord to heal her stomach ailment. On the ninth day her stomach was completely healed. Joanne Simia, her cousin, remembered it this way. "Rita came running into our kitchen one morning and said, 'Joanne, I'm healed! My stomach is fine. Look you can even hit me in the stomach and it won't hurt!'