Catherine of Siena

Catherine of Siena

Infobox Saint
name=Catherine of Siena
birth_date=March 25, 1347
death_date=April 29, 1380
feast_day=April 29; April 30 (Roman Calendar, 1628-1960)
venerated_in=Roman Catholic Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Anglican Communion

caption="St. Catherine of Siena. Detail of a work by Domenico Beccafumi, c. 1515"
birth_place=Siena, Italy
death_place=Rome, Italy
titles=Virgin; Doctor of Church
canonized_by=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 Nurses
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 1347April 29 1380) was a Tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and 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 Christ she 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 peace between the republics and principalities of Italy and for the return of the Papacy from Avignon to Rome. She carried on a long correspondence with Pope Gregory XI, also asking him to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States.

In June of 1376 Catherine went to Avignon herself as ambassador of Florence to make peace with the Papal States, but was unsuccessful. She had tried to convince Pope Gregory XI to 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 Pope so much that he returned his administration to Rome in January, 1377. During the Western Schism of 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 rose.

Saint Catherine's body is buried in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in 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.

See also

*Christian mystics
*Flying Saints
*Order of Preachers
*The Incorruptibles
*War of the Eight Saints

External links

*CathEncy|id=03447a|title=St. Catherine of Siena|author=Edmund G. Gardner|short=yes
* [ EWTN Library: "Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin"]
* [ Letters of Catherine from Gutenberg]
* [ Saint Catherine of Siena: Text with concordances and frequency list]
* [ "Drawn by Love, The Mysticism of Catherine of Siena"]

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  • Catherine of Siena — (c. 1345–80)    Saint, Mystic and Devotional Writer.    Catherine was born Caterina Benincasa in Siena, Italy. From her early youth she was subject to visions and, at the age of sixteen, she joined the Dominican Tertiaries. Through her… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Catherine of Siena, Saint — • Third Order Dominican, hermit, reformer, mystic, d. 1380. Biographical article by Edmund G. Gardner Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Catherine of Siena, Saint — orig. Caterina Benincasa born March 25, 1347, Siena, Tuscany died April 29, 1389, Rome; canonized 1461; feast day April 29 Dominican mystic and patron saint of Italy. She joined the Dominican third order in Siena in 1363 and soon became known for …   Universalium

  • Catherine of Siena,Saint — Catherine of Si·en·a (sē ĕnʹə, syĕʹnä), Saint. 1347 1380. Italian religious leader who mediated a peace between the Florentines and Pope Urban VI in 1378. * * * …   Universalium

  • Catherine of Siena, Saint — (1347 1380)    Italian mystic, daughter of an influential Sienese family, canonized in 1461 and declared to be a doctor of the church in 1970. From childhood she was deeply spiritual, and at age 16 she became a Dominican tertiary, living in self… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Catherine of Siena — 1347 80, Italian ascetic and mystic. * * * …   Universalium

  • Catherine of Siena — /siˈɛnə/ (say see enuh) noun Saint, 1347–80, Italian ascetic and mystic; Dominican order s patron saint …  

  • Catherine of Siena — 1347 80, Italian ascetic and mystic …   Useful english dictionary

  • St. Catherine of Siena —     St. Catherine of Siena     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► St. Catherine of Siena     Dominican Tertiary, born at Siena, 25 March, 1347; died at Rome, 29 April, 1380.     She was the youngest but one of a very large family. Her father, Giacomo di… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • St. Catherine of Siena Church and School — St. Catherine of Siena is a Catholic church and elementary school (kindergarten through eighth grade) located on Sheman Way in Reseda, Los Angeles, California. The parish, which is now more than 50 percent Latino, has more than 1,300 families as… …   Wikipedia

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