April 29

Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church


Catherine of Siena was born to a wealthy Italian family, the second youngest of 25 children. Her refusal to marry angered her parents and they turned her into a servant. This increased her spiritual desire and she joined a Dominican lay order. At 21, she began preaching, a task supported by her confessor, Blessed Raymund of Capua. As her influence grew, she devoted much time to peace keeping among the Christian states. Her efforts were instrumental in persuading Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome from Avignon as well as in supporting Pope Urban VI during the schism. St. Catherine’s great mystical work, Dialogues, is a Christian classic. She was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970, the first lay person to receive the honor. [1][2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Catherine of Siena.”
[2] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.

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