Catherine of Siena
name=Catherine of Siena
March 25, 1347
April 29, 1380
April 29; April 30(Roman Calendar, 1628-1960)
Roman Catholic Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Anglican Communion
caption="St. Catherine of Siena. Detail of a work by
Domenico Beccafumi, c. 1515"
titles=Virgin; Doctor of Church
Pope Pius II
attributes=Dominican tertiaries' habit, lily, book, crucifix, heart, crown of thorns, stigmata, ring, dove, rose, skull, miniature church, miniature ship bearing Papal coat of arms
patronage=against fire, bodily ills, diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA, Europe, firefighters, illness, Italy, miscarriages, nurses, people ridiculed for their piety, sexual temptation, sick people, sickness, television, of
prayer= Prayer to the Precious Blood of JesusPrecious Blood,Ocean of Divine Mercy:Flow upon us!
Precious Blood,Most pure Offering:Procure us every Grace!
Precious Blood,Hope and Refuge of sinners:Atone for us!
Precious Blood,Delight of holy souls:Draw us! Amen.
prayer_attrib=Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Catherine of Siena, O.P. (
March 25 1347– April 29 1380) was a Tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopherand theologian. She also worked to bring the Papacy back to Rome from its displacement in France, and to establish peace among the Italian city-states.
Saint Catherine was born Catherine Benincasain
Siena, Italy, to Giacomo di Benincasa, a cloth-dyer, and Lapa Piagenti, a daughter of a local poet. She was the 24th out of 25 children, and her twin sister died at birth.
Catherine received no formal education, and at the age of seven she consecrated her virginity to Christ despite her family's opposition. Her parents wanted her to live a normal life and marry, but against her parents' will, she dedicated her life to praying, meditating and living in total solitude into her late teens. At the age of sixteen, she took the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries.
Catherine dedicated her life to helping the ill and the poor, where she took care of them in hospitals or homes. She rounded up a group of followers, both women and men, and traveled with them along Northern Italy where they asked for a reform of the clergy, the launch of a new crusade and advised people that repentance and renewal could be done through "the total love for God." Catherine also dedicated her life to the study of religious texts. [*Warren C. Hollister, and Judith M. Bennett. "Medieval Europe: A Short History", 9th edition, Boston: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 2002. p. 342] In about 1366, St Catherine experienced what she described in her letters as a "Mystical Marriage" with
Jesus. Based on these visions of Jesus Christshe began to tend the sick and serve the poor. In 1370, she received a series of visions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, after which she heard a command to leave her withdrawn life and enter the public life of the world. Being illiterate, she dictated several letters to men and women in authority, especially begging for peacebetween the republics and principalities of Italy and for the return of the Papacyfrom Avignon to Rome. She carried on a long correspondence with Pope Gregory XI, also asking him to reform the clergyand the administration of the Papal States.
In June of 1376 Catherine went to
Avignonherself as ambassador of Florence to make peace with the Papal States, but was unsuccessful. She had tried to convince Pope Gregory XIto return to Rome. [*Warren C. Hollister, and Judith M. Bennett. "Medieval Europe: A Short History", 9th edition, Boston: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 2002. p. 343] She impressed the Popeso much that he returned his administration to Rome in January, 1377. During the Western Schismof 1378 she was an adherent of Pope Urban VI, who summoned her to Rome, and stayed at Pope Urban VI's court and tried to convince nobles and cardinals of his legitimacy. She lived in Rome until her death in 1380. The problems of the Western Schism would trouble her until the end of her life.
St Catherine's letters are considered one of the great works of early Tuscan literature. More than 300 letters have survived. In her letters to the Pope, she often referred to him affectionately as "Papa" or "Daddy" ("Babbo" in Italian). Her major work is "The Dialogue of Divine Providence."
St Catherine died of a stroke in Rome, the spring of 1380, at the age of thirty-three. The people of Siena wished to have her body. There is a myth that explains how Catherine's head was able to get to Siena, where it has been entombed in the Basilica of San Domenico. The people of Siena knew they could not get her whole body past Roman guards and decided to take only her head which they placed in a bag. They were still stopped by guards and they prayed to St Catherine to help them because they knew Catherine would rather be in Siena. When they opened the bag to show the guards, it no longer held her head, but was full of rose petals. Once they got back to Siena they reopened the bag and her head reappeared. Due to this myth, St Catherine is often seen holding a
Saint Catherine's body is buried in the
Basilicaof Santa Maria sopra Minervain Rome, which is near the Pantheon.
aint Catherine Of Siena's Prayer
O marvelous wonder of the Church, seraphic virgin, Saint Catherine, because of thine extraordinary virtue and the immense good which thou didst accomplish for the Church and society, thou art acclaimed and blessed by all people. O blessed Catherine, turn thy benign countenance towards me, who confident of thy powerful patronage call upon thee with all the ardor of affection and I beg thee to obtain by thy prayers the favors I so ardently desire (mention your request).
Thou wast a victim of charity, who in order to benefit thy neighbor obtained from God the most stupendous miracles and became the joy and the hope of all; thou canst not help but hear the prayers of those who fly to thy heart - that heart which thou didst receive from the Divine Redeemer in a celestial ecstasy.
O seraphic virgin, show once again proof of thy power and of thy flaming charity, so that thy name shall ever be blessed and exalted; grant that we, having experienced thy most efficacious intercession here on earth, may come one day to thank thee in Heaven and enjoy eternal happiness with thee. Amen. [Novena Prayer Cards from the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude, 411 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10021. Nihil Obstat: Rev. E.A. Cerny, SS., S.T.D. Imprimatur: Most Reverend Francis P. Keough, D.D., Archbishop of Baltimore, September 29, 1954.] "'
*Warren C. Hollister, and Judith M. Bennett. "Medieval Europe: A Short History", 9th edition, Boston: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 2002. p. 343-343.
*Thomas McDermott, OP. "Catherine of Siena. Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching." New York: Paulist Press, 2008.
Order of Preachers
War of the Eight Saints
*CathEncy|id=03447a|title=St. Catherine of Siena|author=Edmund G. Gardner|short=yes
* [http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/CATSIENA.htm EWTN Library: "Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin"]
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/8ltcb10.txt Letters of Catherine from Gutenberg]
* [http://www.intratext.com/Catalogo/Autori/AUT59.HTM Saint Catherine of Siena: Text with concordances and frequency list]
* [http://www.drawnbylove.com "Drawn by Love, The Mysticism of Catherine of Siena"]
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