St. Catherine of Siena

By Andrea Vanni, circa 1400. In the public domain retrieved from

St. Catherine of Siena was born in Siena, Italy in the 1347. From an early age Catherine’s love of God was apparent. She once cut her hair short and fasted in order to avoid marriage as she was in love with Jesus the Christ. Instead of joining the convent, she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic which allowed her to minister to the world. At around the age of 21 she had what she describes as a mystical marriage to Christ (

Excerpt from one of St. Catherine’s letters to Stefano Maconi:

Dearest son in Christ sweet Jesus: I Catherine, servant and slave of the servants of Jesus Christ, write to thee in His precious Blood: with desire to see thee arise from the lukewarmness of thy heart, lest thou be spewed from the mouth of God, hearing this rebuke, “Cursed are ye, the lukewarm! Would you had at least been ice-cold!” This lukewarmness proceeds from ingratitude, which comes from a faint light that does not let us see the agonizing and utter love of Christ crucified, and the infinite benefits received from Him. For in truth, did we see them, our heart would burn with the flame of love, and we should be famished for time, using it with great zeal for the honour of God and the salvation of souls. To this zeal I summon thee, dearest son, that now we begin to work anew.

I send thee a letter that I am writing to the Lords, and one to the Company of the Virgin Mary. See and understand them, and then give them; and then … And talk to them fully concerning this matter that is contained in the letters, begging each of them, on behalf of Christ crucified and me, that they deal zealously, just so far as they can, with the Lords and whoever has to do with it, that the right thing may be done in regard to Holy Church, and the Vicar of Christ, Urban VI. It weighs upon me very much, for my part, that it should please them to have confidence in this matter, for the honour of God, and the spiritual and temporal profit of the city. Do thou be fervent and not tepid in this activity, and in quickening thy brothers and elders of the Company to do all they may in the affair of which I write. If you are what you ought to be, you will set fire to all Italy, and not only yonder. (

Catherine was declared a saint by Pope Pius II in 1461. She was declared a patron saint of Italy in 1940 by Pope Pius XII in 1940. In 1970 Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church. St. Catherine of Siena was influential in returning the Avignon papacy back to Rome and is known as a Doctor of unity. Her writings called the Dialogues show her deep spiritual enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. (,1970%20by%20Pope%20Paul%20VI.)

Saint Catherine of Siena had very little formal education, yet the Holy Spirit and her Christian witness allowed her to challenge church leaders to rise to greatness and unite.

Tomb of St. Catherine of Siena Sarcophagus of Saint Catherine of Siena by Isaia da Pisa (1447-1464), located beneath the High Altar of the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome (

St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

Published by StreetEvangelist

A Roman Catholic Christian living in the TX, USA area seeking to make the world a better place. Our call to mission as being made in the image and likeness of God is two-fold: to have authentic relationships with our fellow man, and to have an authentic personal encounter with our living God through His Son Jesus Christ who is, who was and who will always be. Let us not bicker, spew hate, or worry about trivial matters when we can become better images of our self to walk humbly with our loving God.

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