Our Patroness:St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena ranks as one of the most interesting, most influential and most popular saints in all of Church history. She was a twin, the 23rd of 25 children of a wool dyer in northern Italy. She is known as a mystic, a stigmatic and a miracle-worker. St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only six, seeing guardian angels 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.

Her penances were so great that she eventually ate no food except Communion and did not require sleep. Through her personal influence, thousands of people returned to the Faith. Her crowning achievement consisted of persuading Pope Gregory XI to return the Papacy to Rome, thus ending the "Babylonian Captivity." St. Catherine died at age 33, the victim of her own strenous efforts and penances on behalf of the Church. Her 400 letters to popes and to religious and political leaders of high and low estate testify to these efforts.

Toward the end of her life, while in esctasy, she dictated her famous Dialogue with God the Father. This work has become one of the great spiratual treasures and is considered amoung the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church.For this writing and for her letters, Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church. She died when she was only 33, and her body was found incorrupt in 1430. St. Catherine of Siena sets a beautiful example for us because of her many sacrafices for the sake of souls and for the welfare of Christ's Church.

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