St Catherine (1347-1380) was born at Siena into a large family although, many of her brothers and sisters died at birth or soon after. At around the age of six, St Catherine had her first vision of Christ and thereafter, committed her life to God. She took drastic measures to avoid early marriage including, cutting her hair and extreme fasting.
St Catherine was eventually accepted into a Dominican Order, who until then consisted of only widows. It was there she learned to read but lived outside the convent in “almost total silence and solitude in her family home”.
At 21, she had a further visionary experience, “Mystical Marriage,” in which Jesus asked her to enter public life. St Catherine did so and started to help the poor and sick in Siena, quickly attracting a group of early followers.
St Catherine also became involved in wider politics, working to bring the papacy back to Rome from France and to help establish peace among Italian city-states.
In 1375, St Catherine received the stigmata (Christ’s wounds).
With St Francis of Assisi, St Catherine is Patron Saint of Italy. Her Feast Day is April 29th, the day of her death, or 30th April (Roman Calendar 1628 – 1969)
Pray for us that we will become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.
Glory be to the…