St Catherine of Siena
Feast: 29th April
Patronage: Fire Prevention
Doctor of the Church
The youngest of 25 children, Catherine was nicked named “joy” in Greek, as she brought much joy to her family with her joyful nature and spirit as a child. At a young age Catherine had a vision of Christ seated in glory with the Apostles Peter, Paul and John. This is when the child Catherine decided to give her whole life the Christ.
She used to teach the other children what she learnt through prayer.
Saint Catherine fought many battles, both within her family and out. She knew she could never marry, yet her mother wanted her to. In response to her mother’s plans, Catherine cut her long hair. As punishment she was never to be left alone. This hindered Catherine, yet she learnt to build an “interior” private cell in her soul where no tribulation could enter (1). Her parents soon gave up on the idea of Catherine marrying.
Catherine partook in fasting and prayer, she would sleep on a wooden board at night dressed in a jumper made from hair.
Catherine had many visions and voices that she heard from Christ. She received a ring from Christ in one of her visions. Catherine would care for the ill when the plague attacked Siena. A priest noted in his writings that there was so much joy in how Catherine cared for others.
Catherine died at the age of thirty three. She had a stroke which made her paralytic from the waist down. She wrote many letters through her life, over four hundred were found. They were filled with great literary beauty, “showing great warmth, insight and aspiration” (1).
Saint Catherine, Pray for us.
About the Author: