Feast Day—April 29
Catherine was the 24th of 25 children of a Sienese dyer; her mystical experiences and raptures began at age 6. She refused to marry, and about 1367 joined the Third Order of St. Dominic. She attracted a like-minded group in Siena for prayer and good works and devoted her last five years to church unity and ending the
scandal of rival papacies. Though she experienced the pain of the stigmata, it became visible only after her death at 33. And, in an odd division of relics, her body is in a Roman church, while her head is in a Sienese church. Named a doctor of the church in 1970, Catherine is a patron saint of Europe and Italy, and the patron of fire prevention, nurses and nursing.
“Take as your example your heavenly patroness, St Catherine, a humble and fearless Dominican tertiary who gave herself unsparingly for the Church. For everyone may this great saint be not only a special protectress but a model to follow on the path of holiness.” —St. John Paul II, October 10, 1999
Quote from St. John Paul II, copyright © 1999, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City State. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Copyright ©2019, Catholic News Service–United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
Image: Saint Catherine of Siena Receiving the Stigmata, Domenico Beccafumi, J Paul Getty Museum