International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 97-100

Saint rita of cascia: Patron saint for women with frontal fibrosing alopecia?

1 Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases Professor Trüeb, Wallisellen; University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
2 Department of Dermatology, Fluminense Federal University, Antonio Pedro University Hospital, Niteroi, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Ralph Michel Trueb
Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases Professor Trüeb, Bahnhofplatz 1A, CH-8304 Wallisellen
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_30_19

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Roman Catholic tradition has made Saints the protectors of various aspects of life. Christian hagiography deals with the account of the Saints' lives and passion, and Christian iconography with the Saints' depiction in religious art. Catholic churches are full of images of Saints. Appreciation of religious art is deepened by knowledge of what is depicted. Saints are only sometimes labeled with their names. The clues to their identity are rather given in their appearance or in what they are holding. St. Rita of Cascia (1381–1457) is a Saint venerated in the Roman Catholic Church and bestowed the title of Patroness for impossible causes. Various miracles have been attributed to her. In Christian iconography, she is depicted with a bleeding forehead wound and sometimes holding a thorn. The forehead wound is understood to represent partial religious stigmatization and external sign of mystical union with Christ. In our opinion, it is at the same time reminiscent of the thorn frontal fibrosing alopecia represents to women affected with the condition, and its treatment with intralesional triamcinolone injections along the frontal hairline, much alike the forehead wounds caused by the crown of thorns. Few practices of the Catholic Church are so misunderstood as the devotion to patron Saints. Nevertheless, Saints help to find community and to break out of the isolation, anonymity, and dumbness of modern society. The communion of Saints is a spiritual union, in which each member shares in the welfare of all. The patron Saints help to believe in the possibility of miracles and miraculous healings. Ultimately, the exemplary lives of the Saints show us how salvation can be the positive effect of suffering.

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