St. Catherine of Siena, (c. 1333/1347-1380), entered the Third Order of the Dominicans at the age of 16. She was both an ascetic and a mystic and soon attracted a number of followers, both men and women. Catherine tried to express her ideals in her Dialogue and in her letters, which were all dictated by her, because she never learnt to write.
She received stigmata (holy marks similar to those of the five wounds of Christ Crucified) in 1375 while she was working on ecclesiastical peace during the Avignon papacy.
Later she was sent as an ambassadress from Italy to Avignon, where she managed to convince Pope Gregory IX to return to Rome. Catherine worked much to repair the damage to the church done by its division.
Catherine was canonized in 1461 by the Sienese Pope Pius III. In 1970 she was declared a Doctor of the Church.
She is the patron saint of Siena and Italy, the second patron of Rome.
Feast day: 29 April.
See: Fra Bartolommeo The
Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine of Siena, with Eight Saint,
the Father in Glory with St. Mary Magdalene and St. Catherine of Siena.
Luca Signorelli. SS. Catherine of Siena, Mary Magdalene and Jerome.
The Book of Saints: The Lives of the Saints According to the Liturgical Calendar by George Angelini, Victor Hoagland (Editor). Regina Press, Malhame & Company, 1986.
St. Catherine of Siena: The Story of the Girl Who Saw Saints in the Sky by Mary Fabyan Windeatt, Helen Louise Beccard (Illustrator). Tan Books & Publishers, Inc., 1994.
Catherine of Siena : The Dialogue (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Sr. Susan Noffke, Catherine, Giuliana Cavallini (Photographer). Paulist Press, 1988.
Catherine of Siena: Passion for the Truth Compassion for Humanity: Selected Spiritual Writings by Catherine, Mary O'Driscoll. New City Press, 1994.
Life of Total Prayer: Selected Writings of Catherine of Siena (Upper Room Spiritual Classics. Series 3) by Catherine, Beasley-Topliffe (Editor). Upper Room, 2000.
Voices of the Saints: A Year of Readings by Bert Ghezzi (Author). Image Books, 2002.