Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Feast of St. Catharine of Siena


Text from Catholic Online [annotations by Matthaeus]:

"The 25th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy [good, large Catholic family]St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels [how often we forget about our guardian angel] 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 is one of the four female Doctors of the Church, along with Ss.Teresa of Avila. Therese of Lisieux and Hildegard of Bingen]. 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. "

Along with St. Francis of Assisi, she is co-patron of Italy, and on 1 October 1999 St. John Paul II named her as a one of the six patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Bridget of Sweden and Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein). She is also invoked for the prevention of fires.

Ora pro nobis.

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