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St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena by Br. Arturo Olivas, OFS

Artist Narrative:

The 25th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions of Christ, Mary, and the saints.

St. Catherine was one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day, although she never had any formal education. She persuaded the Pope to go back to Rome from Avignon, in 1377, and when she died she was endeavoring to heal the Great Western Schism. In 1375 Our Lord give her the Stigmata, which was visible only after her death. Her spiritual director was Blessed Raymond of Capua.

St. Catherine's letters, and a treatise called "a dialogue" are considered among the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church. She died when she was only 33, and her body was found incorrupt in 1430.

Her feast day is April 29.

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Catherine was the youngest child in a large family. At the age of 6 she had a vision in which Jesus appeared and blessed her. Her parents wanted her to marry, but she became a Dominicantertiary. She was a mystic and a stigmatist. Catherine received a vision in which she was in a mystical marriage with Christ, and the Infant Christ presented her with a wedding ring. She was counselor to Pope Gregory XI and Pope Urban VI. Catherine was proclaimed Doctor of the Church on October 4, 1970.

Born: March 25, 1347 at Siena, Tuscany,Italy

Died: April 29, 1380 of a mysterious and painful illness that came on without notice and was never properly diagnosed

Canonized: 1461 by Pope Pius II

Name Meaning: Pure one

Readings:

Charity is the sweet and holy bond which links the soul with its Creator: it binds God with man and man with God.
—Saint Catherine of Siena

Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being. Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light, and causes me to know your truth. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself. The food of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love.
—Excerpts from On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena

Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.
—Saint Catherine of Siena