The feast day of St. Catherine of Siena is celebrated by the Catholic Church on April 29. St. Catherine is the patron saint against fire, illness and miscarriage.
St. Catherine was the 25th child to Giacomo and Lapa Benincase. She was born in 1347. Her father was a wealthy wool dyer in Northern Italy. She began having mystical experiences at the age of six, seeing guardian angels clearly. She also had visions of Heaven, hell and purgatory. She consecrated herself to Christ at the age of seven.
At the age of 16, Catherine became a Dominican tertiary (lay Dominican), continuing to have visions of Christ, Mary and the saints. In many of her ecstasies, Catherine fell into fire; however, she was untouched by the flames. This is why she is the patron saint against fire.
St. Catherine received a divine call to enter the public life . She began writing letters to princes and republics of Italy. She was consulted by papal legates. She persuaded Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome from Avignon and reform the clergy and the Papal States. She referred to the pope as “sweet Christ on earth”. St. Catherine also cared for the sick (working among lepers) , served the poor and worked tirelessly to convert sinners. St. Catherine’s reputation for holiness grew.
On the 4th Sunday of Lent, 1375, she received the Stigmata, (the wounds of Christ). They were only visible after her death.
St. Catherine’s writings are considered historical in the Church. They include: “The Dialogue, Letters of Catherine Siena and Little Talks with God.
At the age of 33, on April 29, 1380, Catherine died of a mysterious and painful illness which came on without notice. It was not diagnosed. Her body was discovered to be in-corrupt in the year 1430. In 1970, Pope Paul VI declared St. Catherine of Siena to be a Doctor of the Church.
Enough of all this soft soap! All it does is cause the members of Christ’s Spouse to stink!
Quote of St. Catherine of Siena
St. Catherine of Siena in Art
April is the Month of the Eucharist.