Fortunately for us, there is more than one patron saint for lost causes.
Rita led a life of denial; not on her own, but imposed upon her her whole life. In her piety though she bore it all and continued to try to bring Christ into the lives of those around her. When she wanted to enter the convent, her family refused and married her off at the age of 12. When she finally reconciled her brutish husband to Christ, she was denied a happy marriage after his murder by his enemies; when her brutish sons plotted his revenge she was denied their love in her old age when she offered up their lives to keep them from mortal sin. When she tried to enter the convent after all this, she was denied because even though she was still young, she had been married.
Cast about she continued to work for reconciliation between her family and her husband's murderers. She never gave up, and eventually was allowed into the convent at 36, living the rest of her life there. Patience and persistence pay off in service to the Gospel, even if the results are not what we expect, or if we ever see them.
Lost causes are not lost when placed in the hands of God.
Rita pray for us in times of need.
What profit have workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to mortals to be busied about. God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life. Moreover, that all can eat and drink and enjoy the good of all their toil—this is a gift of God. I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered. What now is has already been; what is to be, already is: God retrieves what has gone by.
-- Ecclesiastes 3:9-15