Saint Catherine of Siena
Doctor of the Church
(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.
A mystic, St. Catherine was on fire with the love of God: “Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery as deep as the sea, You could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire every burning and never consumed, Which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being.” Thus aflame, she worked for the unity of the Church.
Lord, may we too, see and celebrate the gifts You have given us – And then use them tirelessly for the good of Your Church. Amen.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit, come into my heart; draw it to Thee by Thy power, O my God, and grant me charity with filial fear. Preserve me, O ineffable Love, from every evil thought; warm me, inflame me with Thy dear love, and every pain will seem light to me. My Father, my sweet Lord, help me in all my actions. Jesus, love, Jesus, love. Amen.