Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 30 April

detail of the oil on canvas painting 'Saint Catherine of Siena', 17th century by Baldassare Franceschini; Dulwich Picture Gallery, Dulwich, London, England; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsSaint Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Tertiaries, O.P.

There was at first some hesitation about admitting Saint Catherine into the Third Order, yet she afterwards became its principal glory. In spite of the feebleness of her sex and her lack of worldly knowledge she possessed in a high degree the double spirit of Saint Dominic. So great was her advancement in the spiritual life that Our Lord called her “His Sister by conformity of nature, His friend by charity, His dove by purity of soul and body.” She excelled in finding God in the things of the material world and she was specially fond of flowers. Her ecstasies, which are summed up in the Dialogues, show us how she was enlightened in the knowledge of supernatural things. Her exterior life, which lasted, like that of Jesus Christ, thirty-three years, was consecrated to the salvation of souls, to the good of her country and to the defense of the Holy See and the rightful Pope. What an extraordinary honor for the daughter of a poor dyer to be called to bring back the Pope to Rome after seventy years of exile, the same time that the captivity in Babylon lasted. In recognition of her devotion to the interests of the Holy See, Pius IX declared Saint Catherine patroness with Saints Peter and Paul of the Roman Church.

Prayer

“O my God, remember the Church and its Supreme Head!” – last words of Saint Catherine of Siena

Practice

Recite three times the prayer for the feast of Saint Catherine.