Saint Catherine of Siena's life was of such astoundingly glorious sanctity that even the great saints seem to pale in comparison to her magnificence. She was born to a merchant family in Siena in 1347 and dedicated her virginity to God at 7. Around then she also began to have visions of Christ in majesty. In her difficult teenage years, her desired path forward in steadfast religious devotion and stringent fasting was opposed by her family. To her mother's chagrin, she cut her hair to avoid suitors, following her own advice to "build a cell inside [the] mind, from which [one] can never flee." At 21, she experienced a mystical marriage with Christ and soon received the stigmata as well.
Catherine attempted to negotiate peace between Florence, Siena, and the Papal States; she made it her goal to save the papacy from crumbling, inducing the pope to return from Avignon to Rome. In addition, she wrote heavenly tracts, the seraphic wisdom and mystical doctrines of which made her centuries later declared a Doctor of the Church. In her last years, she was summoned to Rome to defend the papacy again when the Great Western Schism broke out. After all that, she died, worn down by her enormous stringencies, at only 33 years old.
In this short, popular biography for young and old alike, meet the saint who saved the papacy and married Christ, who bore His wounds and survived on His Eucharist. In short, meet the saint among saints, surely a "wise virgin of the number of the prudent."
- F.A. Forbes
- TAN Books
- Publication Date: