St. Catherine of Siena was a wonderful saint. Her childhood, her spiritual life, and her achievements were all important to her life.
St. Catherine was born during a plague in Siena, Italy on March 25, 1347. She was a twin but her twin didn’t survive infancy. Her father was a clothes dryer. When she was 16 her sister Bonaventura died and left her husband as a widower. Her parents thought that he should marry her as a replacement, but St. Catherine didn’t want that, and she started fasting and cutting her hair short so that it would ruin her appearance. Her parents tried to convince her to marry someone but failed. Her fasting and devotion convinced them to let her live how she wants to.
She did not join a convent, but instead joined the third order of St. Dominic so that be in a religious society while staying at home. The Sisters of Penitence of St. Dominic in Siena received Catherine as a member. St. Catherine decided to take public action encourage a crusade against Muslims, and for peace in the church and Italy. She went to Avignon as an unofficial meditator with her biographer Raymond of Capua and her confessor. In Avignon she promoted her plans for a crusade against the Muslims. In 1376 she went to Florence at Pope Gregory XI request, and she was there when the Ciompi Revolt happened in June. She went to Siena for a short final stay, in which she finished The Dialogue. She went to Rome, at the invitation of Pope Urban VI, which she helped in reorganizing the church.
She gained a rapidly wide reputation for her manner of life, and humbleness. She helped start a crusade to the holy land. St. Catherine has written 380 letters, 26 prayers, and 4 arguments which is better known as the Dialogue. She was one of the four woman who got named doctor of the church. She was an important defender of the papacy, and is a patron saint of Italy and Europe. St. Catherine’s letters and prayers have special authority in Roman Catholicism.
Eternal God, eternal Trinity, You have made the Blood of Christ so precious through His sharing in Your Divine nature. You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for You. But I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When You fill my soul I have an ever-greater hunger, and I grow more famished for Your light. I desire above all to see You, the true light, as you really are. Amen.
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