Hard as Nails Ministries
St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena

By:  Mission Team February 23, 2021
#AmazingNation, #God, #Suffering, #Truth, #Wisdom

In 1347, a little Italian girl was born in Siena, Italy during the outbreak of a plague. Catherine was the youngest of 25 children. At the age of 16, Catherine began fasting and refused to marry. She even cut her hair so that she would be less attractive. Catherine loved her family. She thought of her parents as Our Lord and her brothers as the apostles. She was always willing to serve them. She lived a quiet life in her family’s household, even after she became a Third Order Dominican.

When Catherine was 21, she had an incredible experience. She had a mystical vision in which Our Lord appeared to her. Christ gave her a ring that was invisible to others, and she became Christ’s bride. After this, she began to serve the poor and the sick, and began caring for them. She then began to travel and spoke about the need to reform the Catholic Church. She called for people to come back to God and to love Him. She helped keep states loyal to the Church and even began a crusade to the Holy Land.

Catherine dictated many letters and works. She composed over 400 letters in her lifetime. She has become a Doctor of the Church for her writings. St. Catherine also started a monastery for women, persuaded the Pope to return to Rome, and received the stigmata, which was invisible to the rest of the world. In 1380, she became ill and struggled to eat. She lost the use of her legs and suffered a stroke. She died on April 29, 1380, at the age of 33. St. Catherine of Siena was buried in Rome.

According to a legend, her spiritual director wanted part of her remains to go back to her hometown in Siena, Italy. However, he did not have permission to undertake this. Three years after St. Catherine died, her remains were moved into the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. It was then that her spiritual director had some men remove her head from the vertebrae of her body. As the men were leaving with the saint’s head in their bags, they were stopped by the guards of the Basilica. The guards checked their bags, but only found rose petals. When the men brought the head to Siena, the rose petals returned to the head of St. Catherine. Her body was examined years later, and upon opening the tomb, it was confirmed that St. Catherine’s head was missing. Her head was also examined and found to have no vertebrae attached to it.

Later, other parts of her body were also distributed to different Churches in Italy. Pope Pius II canonized Catherine in 1461. In 1970, St. Catherine of Siena was declared a Doctor of the Church. St. Catherine of Siena is the patron saint of Italy, the United States, miscarriages, illness, fire, people who are ridiculed for the faith, nurses, and sexual temptations.

St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us!

Websites used:
The Ecstatic Visions of St. Catherine of Siena (catholicexchange.com)
Saint Catherine of Siena’s divine head – Strange Remains
St. Catherine of Siena - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online
Saint Catherine of Siena | Biography, Facts, Miracles, & Patron Saint Of | Britannica

Photo Credits:
Baldassare Franceschini, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
<https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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