Skip to comments.EWTN New Program - St. Catherine of Siena: Mystic and Reformer
Posted on 09/09/2004 11:35:38 AM PDT by NYer
St. Catherine of Siena: Mystic and Reformer
This series is like a traveler's documentary, which leads us to discover Catherine of Siena in her native Italy. Actress Mary McCown brings back to life this medieval heroine of the Church. Her courage, holiness and willingness to cooperate with God allowed her to convince the Pope Urban VI to return to Rome after spending several years in France. Fr. Jacques Daley reveals the spiritual lessons of a life spent both addressing the political powers of the time as well as caring for people affected with the plague. He does this by visiting houses, palaces and churches where St. Catherine served God and the Church tirelessly
1347 - 1380
The 25th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions of Christ, Mary, and the saints. St. Catherine was one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day, although she never had any formal education. She persuaded the Pope to go back to Rome from Avignon, in 1377, and when she died she was endeavoring to heal the Great Western Schism. In 1375 Our Lord give her the Stigmata, which was visible only after her death. Her spiritual director was Blessed Raymond of Capua. St, Catherine's letters, and a treatise called "a dialogue" are considered among the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church. She died when she was only 33, and her body was found incorrupt in 1430.
St. Catherine's letters, and a treatise called "a dialogue" are considered among the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church.Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena.
Great web site, thanks for posting the link!
IMO, any serious Catholic seeking perfection should read the "Dialogue." Perfection can only come through Grace, but it helps to have a road map.
What a great saint, I'm glad EWTN is doing this. Thanks for the ping.
Saint Catherine of Siena,
Virgin & Doctor of the Church
Saint Catherine of Siena (20th c.) - Vatican [Photo: Father Jerry Pokorsky]
Catherine Benincasa was born in Siena on Palm Sunday, March 5, 1347, the daughter of Giacomo Benincasa, a pious and prosperous dyer and his wife Lapa. It is said that when she was five years old, she was in the habit of saying the Hail Mary on each step of the staircase of the house. When Catherine was about six year old, she saw a vision of Christ and His Apostles while walking in the countryside with her brother. She was transfixed by the vision, in which the Lord, in the garb of a pope, blessed her. As one writer put it, "Such was the 'call' of Saint Catherine of Siena ... and the appearance of Christ, in the semblance of His Vicar [the pope], may fitly appear to symbolize the great mission of her later life to the Holy See". For the pope was not in Rome but in Avignon, France, the so-called "Babylonian Captivity" of the papacy, where for political reasons the papal court had moved -- and Catherine, years later, would attempt to persuade the pope to return to Rome, the See of Peter.
At the age of sixteen Catherine took the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries (or "third order", a lay affiliation with the Dominican Order). After three years of celestial visitations and familiar conversation with Christ, she underwent the mystical experience known as "spiritual espousal" (or "mystical marriage" to Christ).
Catherine then dedicated herself to the poor, the sick and the conversation of sinners. In the summer of 1370 she received visions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven and a Divine command to enter the public life of the world.
She began to dictate and dispatch letters to men and women in every condition of life, entered into correspondence with the princes and republics of Italy, was consulted by the papal legates about the affairs of the Church, and set herself to heal the wounds of her native land. She implored Pope Gregory XI to reform the notoriously corrupt clergy and the administration of the Papal States. Through her influence, the pope left Avignon and returned to Rome.
On the fourth Sunday of Lent in 1375 she received the stigmata, that is, the wounds of Christ.
In about 1378 Catherine composed her "Dialogue", said to have been dictated while she was in ecstasy, a book of meditations and reflections on the Creed and teachings of the Church, and on the sinfulness of man and the mercy of God.
Her last public work was to aid in the reconciliation of Pope Urban VI and the Roman Republic.
Catherine died April 29, 1380.
In 1970 Pope Paul VI proclaimed Saint Catherine of Siena a Doctor of the Church, a title given to certain ecclesiastical writers because of the benefit the whole Church has derived from their teaching and witness.
in meditating on the sufferings of Your Son
and in serving your Church,
Saint Catherine was filled with the fervor of Your love.
By her prayers, may we share in the mystery of Christ's death
and rejoice in the revelation of His glory, for He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
Readings of the Day:
First Reading - 1 John 1:5-2:2
This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Gospel Reading - Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus declared, "I thank Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was Thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
[Scripture translations: Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition]
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