Sunday, April 28, 2013

St. Catherine of Siena

Saint and Doctor of the Catholic Church, St. Catherine of Siena is one of the great Saints of the Catholic Church.  April 29th is her feast day, which is the anniversary of her death in 1380 at the young age of 33 years old.  In 1430 her body was found, incorrupt.
St. Catherine was given the penance of the stigmata, however this was not known while she was alive - it was a penance she kept to herself and it was discovered after her death.  She is sometimes depicted, as above, with a crown of thorns for in a vision Jesus had offered her the choice between two crowns, one of gold the other of thorns - she chose the crown of thorns.  

She was born with her twin sister, Giovanna, but Giovanna died shortly after birth.  St. Catherine was the 23rd child in their family (but at least half of the other children died).  The 25th child, a daughter, was also named Giovanna.

St. Catherine wrote over 300 letters, most of which exist to this day.  Perhaps the most famous work of hers is The Dialogue of Divine Providence, which is the dialog of a soul which "rises up" to God and God Himself.

She is one of two Saints declared to be Patron of Italy - the other is St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Catherine of Siena is also the patron of Theta Phi Alpha which adopted her motto as their own:  “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.”

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