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Saturday, 25 May 2024
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St Catherine of Siena


Born on the Feast of the Assumption in 1347, Catherine joined the Dominicans at an early age. Soon she became known for her wisdom and was consulted for advice by both civil and religious leaders of the day. She worked for peace and reconciliation among the many warring factions and kingdoms of Italy, and was a peacemaker in the Church too. St. Catherine is the author of "The Dialogue". Her writings are remarkable for their depth and inspirational quality. In February 1375 she received the stigmata, visible to her until her death and then visible to everyone.

St. Catherine was responsible for influencing Pope Gregory XI to move the Holy See from Avignon back to Rome. She died at the age of 33 in Rome, still working and praying for church unity. St. Catherine was canonized in 1461. She is the Patron Saint of Italy. She was declared 'Doctor of the Church' in 1970, and Patron of Europe in 2000.

A Doctor of the Church, (from the Latin docere, to teach), is a saint from whose writings the whole Church is held to have derived great advantage and to whom "eminent learning" and "great sanctity" have been attributed.

Prayer of St. Catherine of Siena

Be my companion

through the darkness of this night.

From the beginning

you created me to your own image and likeness

in order that I might have eternal life,

that I might partake of you,

tasting your eternal sweetness and goodness.

But we travel by a broken road

on broken limbs.

I cannot arrive at eternal life

without your support.

I cannot go it alone.

Be my companion,

my guide,

my support.

You have loved me

even before I existed,

and knowing this,

I can place my trust

in your love

and set aside every fear.