St. Catherine of Siena – mystic and Doctor of the Church


St. Catherine of Siena

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by St. Catherine of Siena gohere

St. Catherine of Siena, our spiritual “mamma”, teach us to love Christ and the Church with courage

st  catherine St. Catherine of Siena, our spiritual mamma, teach us to love Christ and the Church with courage

Vatican City –From Pope Benedict’s Wednesday General Audience from vatican.va

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today I would like to talk to you about a woman who played an eminent role in the history of the Church: St Catherine of Siena. The century in which she lived — the 14th — was a troubled period in the life of the Church and throughout the social context of Italy and Europe. Yet, even in the most difficult times, the Lord does not cease to bless his People, bringing forth Saints who give a jolt to minds and hearts, provoking conversion and renewal.

Catherine is one of these and still today speaks to us and impels us to walk courageously toward holiness to be ever more fully disciples of the Lord.

Born in Siena in 1347, into a very large family, she died in Rome in 1380. When Catherine was 16 years old, motivated by a vision of St Dominic, she entered the Third Order of the Dominicans, the female branch known as the Mantellate. While living at home, she confirmed her vow of virginity made privately when she was still an adolescent and dedicated herself to prayer, penance and works of charity, especially for the benefit of the sick.

When the fame of her holiness spread, she became the protagonist of an intense activity of spiritualCatherine of Siena 0 St. Catherine of Siena, our spiritual mamma, teach us to love Christ and the Church with courage guidance for people from every walk of life: nobles and politicians, artists and ordinary people, consecrated men and women and religious, including Pope Gregory xi who was living at Avignon in that period and whom she energetically and effectively urged to return to Rome.

She travelled widely to press for the internal reform of the Church and to foster peace among the States. It was also for this reason that Venerable Pope John Paul ii chose to declare her Co-Patroness of Europe: may the Old Continent never forget the Christian roots that are at the origin of its progress and continue to draw from the Gospel the fundamental values that assure justice and harmony.

Like many of the Saints, Catherine knew great suffering. Some even thought that they should not trust her, to the point that in 1374, six years before her death, the General Chapter of the Dominicans summoned her to Florence to interrogate her. They appointed Raymund of Capua, a learned and humble Friar and a future Master General of the Order, as her spiritual guide. Having become her confessor and also her “spiritual son”, he wrote a first complete biography of the Saint. She was canonized in 1461.

The teaching of Catherine, who learned to read with difficulty and learned to write in adulthood, is contained in the Dialogue of Divine Providence or Libro della Divina Dottrina, a masterpiece of spiritual literature, in her Epistolario and in the collection of her Prayers.

Her teaching is endowed with such excellence that in 1970 the Servant of God Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church, a title that was added to those of Co-Patroness of the City of Rome — at the wish of Bl. Pius ix — and of Patroness of Italy — in accordance with the decision of Venerable Pius XII.

Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine of Siena 300x158 St. Catherine of Siena, our spiritual mamma, teach us to love Christ and the Church with courageIn a vision that was ever present in Catherine’s heart and mind Our Lady presented her to Jesus who gave her a splendid ring, saying to her: “I, your Creator and Saviour, espouse you in the faith, that you will keep ever pure until you celebrate your eternal nuptials with me in Heaven” (Bl. Raimondo da Capua, S. Caterina da Siena, Legenda maior, n. 115, Siena 1998). This ring was visible to her alone. In this extraordinary episode we see the vital centre of Catherine’s religious sense, and of all authentic spirituality: Christocentrism. For her Christ was like the spouse with whom a relationship of intimacy, communion and faithfulness exists; he was the best beloved whom she loved above any other good. This profound union with the Lord is illustrated by another episode in the life of this outstanding mystic: the exchange of hearts. According to Raymond of Capua who passed on the confidences Catherine received, the Lord Jesus appeared to her “holding in his holy hands a human heart, bright red and shining”. He opened her side and put the heart within her saying: “Dearest daughter, as I took your heart away from you the other day, now, you see, I am giving you mine, so that you can go on living with it for ever” (ibid.). Catherine truly lived St. Paul’s words, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

Like the Sienese Saint, every believer feels the need to be conformed with the sentiments of the heart of Christ to love God and his neighbour as Christ himself loves. And we can all let our hearts be transformed and learn to love like Christ in a familiarity with him that is nourished by prayer, by meditation on the Word of God and by the sacraments, above all by receiving Holy Communion frequently and with devotion. Catherine also belongs to the throng of Saints devoted to the Eucharist with which I concluded my Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (cf. n. 94). Dear brothers and sisters, the Eucharist is an extraordinary gift of love that God continually renews to nourish our journey of faith, to strengthen our hope and to inflame our charity, to make us more and more like him.

A true and authentic spiritual family was built up around such a strong and genuine personality; people fascinated by the moral authority of this young woman with a most exalted lifestyle were at times also impressed by the mystical phenomena they witnessed, such as her frequent ecstasies. Many put themselves at Catherine’s service and above all considered it a privilege to receive spiritual guidance from her. They called her “mother” because, as her spiritual children, they drew spiritual nourishment from her. Today too theCatherine of Siena writing 300x228 St. Catherine of Siena, our spiritual mamma, teach us to love Christ and the Church with courage Church receives great benefit from the exercise of spiritual motherhood by so many women, lay and consecrated, who nourish souls with thoughts of God, who strengthen the people’s faith and direct Christian life towards ever loftier peaks. “Son, I say to you and call you”, Catherine wrote to one of her spiritual sons, Giovanni Sabbatini, a Carthusian, “inasmuch as I give birth to you in continuous prayers and desire in the presence of God, just as a mother gives birth to a son” (EpistolarioLettera n. 141: To Fr Giovanni de’ Sabbatini). She would usually address the Dominican Fr Bartolomeo de Dominici with these words: “Most beloved and very dear brother and son in Christ sweet Jesus”.

Another trait of Catherine’s spirituality is linked to the gift of tears. They express an exquisite, profound sensitivity, a capacity for being moved and for tenderness. Many Saints have had the gift of tears, renewing the emotion of Jesus himself who did not hold back or hide his tears at the tomb of his friend Lazarus and at the grief of Mary and Martha or at the sight of Jerusalem during his last days on this earth. According to Catherine, the tears of Saints are mingled with the blood of Christ, of which she spoke in vibrant tones and with symbolic images that were very effective: “Remember Christ crucified, God and man….. Make your aim the Crucified Christ, hide in the wounds of the Crucified Christ and drown in the blood of the Crucified Christ” (EpistolarioLettera n. 21: Ad uno il cui nome si tace [to one who remains anonymous]). Here we can understand why, despite her awareness of the human shortcomings of priests, Catherine always felt very great reverence for them: through the sacraments and the word they dispense the saving power of Christ’s Blood. The Sienese Saint always invited the sacred ministers, including the Pope whom she called “sweet Christ on earth”, to be faithful to their responsibilities, motivated always and only by her profound and constant love of the Church. She said catherinesiena 219x300 St. Catherine of Siena, our spiritual mamma, teach us to love Christ and the Church with couragebefore she died: “in leaving my body, truly I have consumed and given my life in the Church and for the Holy Church, which is for me a most unique grace” (Raimondo da CapuaS. Caterina da SienaLegenda maior, n. 363). Hence we learn from St Catherine the most sublime science: to know and love Jesus Christ and his Church. In the Dialogue of Divine Providence, she describes Christ, with an unusual image, as a bridge flung between Heaven and earth. This bridge consists of three great stairways constituted by the feet, the side and the mouth of Jesus. Rising by these stairways the soul passes through the three stages of every path to sanctification: detachment from sin, the practice of the virtues and of love, sweet and loving union with God.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us learn from St Catherine to love Christ and the Church with courage, intensely and sincerely. Therefore let us make our own St Catherine’s words that we read in the Dialogue of Divine Providence at the end of the chapter that speaks of Christ as a bridge: “out of mercy you have washed us in his Blood, out of mercy you have wished to converse with creatures. O crazed with love! It did not suffice for you to take flesh, but you also wished to die!… O mercy! My heart drowns in thinking of you: for no matter where I turn to think, I find only mercy” (chapter 30, pp. 79-80). Thank you.

 

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St. Catherine of Siena – “Saints Speak” Holy Repentance and Holy Mary

Holy Mary

Holy Repentance

St. Catherine of Siena 4 St. Catherine of Siena   Saints Speak Holy Repentance and Holy Mary

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St. Catherine of Siena, one of the great heroines of Christianity

Dominican Tertiary, born at Siena, 25 March, 1347; died at Rome, 29 April, 1380.St. Catherine of Siena St. Catherine of Siena, one of the great heroines of Christianity
From the Catholic Encyclopedia, found at New Advent -

She was the youngest  one of a very large family. Her father, Giacomo di Benincasa, was a dyer; her mother, Lapa, the daughter of a local poet. They belonged to the lower middle-class faction of tradesmen and petty notaries, known as “the Party of the Twelve”, which between one revolution and another ruled the Republic of Siena from 1355 to 1368. From her earliest childhood Catherine began to see visions and to practise extreme austerities. At the age of seven she consecrated her virginity to Christ; in her sixteenth year she took the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries, and renewed the life of the anchorites of the desert in a little room in her father’s house. After three years of celestial visitations and familiar conversation with Christ, she underwent the mystical experience known as the “spiritual espousals”, probably during the carnival of 1366. She now rejoined her family, began to tend the sick, especially those afflicted with the most repulsive diseases, to serve the poor, and to labour for the conversion of sinners.

Though always suffering terrible physical pain, living for long intervals on practically no food save the Blessed Sacrament, she was ever radiantly happy and full of practical wisdom no less than the highest spiritual insight. All her contemporaries bear witness to her extraordinary personal charm, which prevailed over the continual persecution to which she was subjected even by the friars of her own order and by her sisters in religion.

She began to gather disciples round her, both men and women, who formed a wonderful spiritual fellowship, united to her by the bonds of mystical love. During the summer of 1370 she received a series of special manifestations of Divine mysteries, which culminated in a prolonged trance, a kind of mystical death, in which she had a vision of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, and heard a Divine command to leave her cell and enter the public life of the world. She began to 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 by staying the fury of civil war and the ravages of faction. She implored the pope, Gregory XI, to leave Avignon, to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States, and ardently threw herself into his design for a crusade, in the hopes of uniting the powers of Christendom against the infidels, and restoring peace to Italy by delivering her from the wandering companies of mercenary soldiers. While at Pisa, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, 1375, she received the Stigmata, although, at her special prayer, the marks did not appear outwardly in her body while she lived.

Mainly through the misgovernment of the papal officials, war broke out between Florence and the Holy See, andSt. Catherine of Siena 5 St. Catherine of Siena, one of the great heroines of Christianity almost the whole of the Papal States rose in insurrection. Catherine had already been sent on a mission from the pope to secure the neutrality of Pisa and Lucca.

In June, 1376, she went to Avignon as ambassador of the Florentines, to make their peace; but, either through the bad faith of the republic or through a misunderstanding caused by the frequent changes in its government, she was unsuccessful. Nevertheless she made such a profound impression upon the mind of the pope, that, in spite of the opposition of the French king and almost the whole of the Sacred College, he returned to Rome (17 January, 1377).

Catherine spent the greater part of 1377 in effecting a wonderful spiritual revival in the country districts subject to the Republic of Siena, and it was at this time that she miraculously learned to write, though she still seems to have chiefly relied upon her secretaries for her correspondence. Early in 1378 she was sent by Pope Gregory to Florence, to make a fresh effort for peace. Unfortunately, through the factious conduct of her Florentine associates, she became involved in the internal politics of the city, and during a popular tumult (22 June) an attempt was made upon her life. She was bitterly disappointed at her escape, declaring that her sins had deprived her of the red rose of martyrdom. Nevertheless, during the disastrous revolution known as “the tumult of the Ciompi”, she still remained at Florence or in its territory until, at the beginning of August, news reached the city that peace had been signed between the republic and the new pope. Catherine then instantly returned to Siena, where she passed a few months of comparative quiet, dictating her “Dialogue”, the book of her meditations and revelations.

St. Catherine of Siena 9 St. Catherine of Siena, one of the great heroines of ChristianityIn the meanwhile the Great Schism had broken out in the Church. From the outset Catherine enthusiastically adhered to the Roman claimant, Urban VI, who in November, 1378, summoned her to Rome. In the Eternal City she spent what remained of her life, working strenuously for the reformation of the Church, serving the destitute and afflicted, and dispatching eloquent letters in behalf of Urban to high and low in all directions. Her strength was rapidly being consumed; she besought her Divine Bridegroom to let her bear the punishment for all the sins of the world, and to receive the sacrifice of her body for the unity and renovation of the Church; at last it seemed to her that the Bark of Peter was laid upon her shoulders, and that it was crushing her to death with its weight. After a prolonged and mysterious agony of three months, endured by her with supreme exultation and delight, from Sexagesima Sunday until the Sunday before the Ascension, she died. Her last political work, accomplished practically from her death-bed, was the reconciliation of Pope Urban VI with the Roman Republic (1380).

Among Catherine’s principal followers were Fra Raimondo delle Vigne, of Capua (d. 1399), her confessor and biographer, afterwards General of the Dominicans, and Stefano di Corrado Maconi (d. 1424), who had been one of her secretaries, and became Prior General of the Carthusians. Raimondo’s book, the “Legend”, was finished in 1395. A second life of her, the “Supplement”, was written a few years later by another of her associates, Fra Tomaso Caffarini (d. 1434), who also composed the “Minor Legend”, which was translated into Italian by Stefano Maconi. Between 1411 and 1413 the depositions of the surviving witnesses of her life and work were collected at Venice, to form the famous “Process”. Catherine was canonized by Pius II in 1461. The emblems by which she is known in Christian art are the lily and book, the crown of thorns, or sometimes a heart–referring to the legend of her having changed hearts with Christ. Her principal feast is on the 30th of April, but it is popularly celebrated in Siena on the Sunday following. The feast of her EspousalsSt. Catherine of Siena 10 St. Catherine of Siena, one of the great heroines of Christianity is kept on the Thursday of the carnival.

The works of St. Catherine of Siena rank among the classics of the Italian language, written in the beautiful Tuscan vernacular of the fourteenth century. Notwithstanding the existence of many excellent manuscripts, the printed editions present the text in a frequently mutilated and most unsatisfactory condition. Her writings consist of

the “Dialogue”, or “Treatise on Divine Providence”;
a collection of nearly four hundred letters; and
a series of “Prayers”.

The “Dialogue” especially, which treats of the whole spiritual life of man in the form of a series of colloquies between the Eternal Father and the human soul (represented by Catherine herself), is the mystical counterpart in prose of Dante’s “Divina Commedia”.

A smaller work in the dialogue form, the “Treatise on Consummate Perfection”, is also ascribed to her, but is probably spurious. It is impossible in a few words to give an adequate conception of the manifold character and contents of the “Letters”, which are the most complete expression of Catherine’s many-sided personality. While those addressed to popes and sovereigns, rulers of republics and leaders of armies, are documents of priceless value to students of history, many of those written to private citizens, men and women in the cloister or in the world, are as fresh and illuminating, as wise and practical in their advice and guidance for the devout Catholic today as they were for those who sought her counsel while she lived. Others, again, lead the reader to mystical heights of contemplation, a rarefied atmosphere of sanctity in which only the few privileged spirits can hope to dwell. The key-note to Catherine’s teaching is that man, whether in the cloister or in the world, must ever abide in the cell of self-knowledge, which is the stable in which the traveller through time to eternity must be born again.

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St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 1

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Day 1

From a letter to Frate Giusto di Giovanni da Volterra:

“He gave His blood out of love and it is with this love that He asks us for a drink. I mean that Jesus, who loves, is asking to be loved and served. It is only right that the one who loves ought to be loved. This is how we give our Creator a drink: when we give Him love for love. But we cannot give it to Him through any service we can render Him; no we must give it to Him in the person of our neighbor.”

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

(First paragraph excerpt taken from Letter 8 in Letters of St Catherine of Siena, Volume II translated by Suzanne Noffke OP,- published by Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies,2001)

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St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 2

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Day 2

The Eternal Father speaks to Catherine:

My Truth invited you to call out thus when He said: “Call and you will be answered; knock and it shall be opened to you; ask and it shall be given to you.” So I am telling you what I want you to do. Never relax your desire to ask for My help. Never lower you voice in crying out to Me to be merciful to the world. Never stop knocking at the door of my Truth by following in His footsteps. Find your delight with Him on the cross by feeding on souls for the glory and praise of My Name.

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

(First paragraph excerpt taken from  Dialogue of St Catherine,(Chapter 107), Translated by Suzanne Noffke, Classics of Western Spirituality Series.)

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St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 3

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Day 3

The Eternal Father speaks to Catherine:St. Catherine of Siena2 St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 3

Dearest daughter, contemplate the marvelous state of the soul who receives this bread of life, this food of angels, as she ought. When she receives this sacrament she lives in me and I in her. Just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish, so am I in the soul and the soul in me, the sea of peace. Grace lives in such a soul because, having received this bread of life in grace, she lives in grace.

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

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St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 4

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Day 4

To Nanna, daughter of Benincasa, a little maid, her niece, in Florence:

 Now, then, we must have light–otherwise it would not be enough. This light has to be the light of most holy faith. But the saints say that faith without works is dead. Therefore we need to exert ourselves virtuously all the time, and leave our childishness and vanities, and not behave any longer like worldly girls, but like faithful brides consecrated to Christ crucified; in this way we shall have a lamp, and oil, and light.

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

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St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 5

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To Monna Agnese wife of Francesco, a tailor of Florence

I desire to see thee clothed in true and perfect humility–for that is a little virtue which makes us great in the sight of God. This is the virtue which constrained and inclined God to make His most sweet Son incarnate in the Womb of Mary. It is as exalted as the proud are humbled; it shines in the sight of God and men; it binds the hands of the wicked, it unites the soul with God, it purifies and laves away the soil of our sin, and calls on God to show us mercy.

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

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St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 6

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Day 6

To Brother Raimondo of Capua at Avignon:St. Catherine of Siena 9 St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 6

I do not want you to fall into weariness or confusion through any vexations that you might feel in your mind; but I want you to keep that good and holy and true faithful will which I know that God in His mercy has given you … Yes, I want that out of the shadows should issue knowledge of yourself, free from confusion…Reflect that through love He keeps your will good, and does not let it run by its own consent or pleasure after the suggestions of the devil. And so, through love, He has permitted to you and me and His other servants, the many vexations and deceits of the devil and fellow-creatures and our own flesh, solely in order that we might rise from negligence, and reach perfect zeal, true humility and most ardent charity: humility which comes from knowledge of self, and charity which comes from knowledge of the goodness of God. There is the soul inspired and consumed by love.

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

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St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 7

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To the King of France:

Oh, how the man should be ashamed who follows the teaching of the devil and his own lower nature, caring more to gain and keep the riches of this world, which are all vain, and pass like the wind, than for his soul and his neighbor  For while abiding in hate with his neighbour, he has hate by his side, since hate deprives him of divine charity. Surely he is foolish and blind, for he does not see that with the sword of hate to his neighbor he is killing himself.

Therefore I beg you, and will that you follow Christ crucified, and love your neighbor’s salvation: proving that you follow the Lamb, who for hunger of His Father’s honor and the salvation of souls chose bodily death. … Care not if you lose from your worldly substance; for loss will be gain to you, provided that you  reconcile your soul with your brother.

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

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St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 8

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To Queen Giovanna of Naples (written in trance):

We have three chief foes. First, the devil, who is weak if I do not make him strong by consenting to his malice. He loses his strength in the power of the Blood of the humble and spotless Lamb. The world with all its honors and delights, which is our foe, is also weak, save in so far as we strengthen it to hurt us by possessing these things with intemperate love. In the gentleness, humility, poverty, in the shame and disgrace of Christ crucified, this tyrant the world is destroyed. Our third foe, our own frailty, was made weak; but reason strengthens it by the union which God has made with our humanity, arraying the Word with our humanity, and by the death of that sweet and loving Word, Christ crucified. So we are strong, and our foes are weak.

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

For the complete novena visit the St. Catherine of Siena Novena Page

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Prayers of St. Catherine of Siena

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O Supreme Physician

O Supreme Physician! O unspeakable Love of my soul! I have recourse to Thee. O infinite and eternal Trinity, I, though unworthy, ardently sigh for Thee! I turn to Thee in theSt. Catherine of Siena 41 Prayers of St. Catherine of Siena mystical body of Thy holy Church, so that Thou mayest wash away with Thy grace all stains of my soul. I beseech Thee through the merits of St. Peter, to whom Thou hast committed the care of Thy Bark, to delay no longer to help Thy Spouse, who hopes in the fire of Thy charity and in the abyss of Thy admirable wisdom. Despise not the desires of Thy servants, but do Thou Thyself guide Thy holy Bark. O Thou, the Author of peace, draw unto Thyself all the faithful; dispel the darkness of the storm, so that the dawn of Thy light may shine upon the Head of Thy Church, and pour down upon him zeal for the salvation of souls. O eternal and merciful Father, Thou hast given us the means of restraining the arms of Thy justice in the humble prayer and ardent desires of Thy devoted servants, whom Thou hast promised to hear when they ask Thee to have mercy upon the world. O powerful and eternal God, I thank Thee for the peace which Thou wilt grant to Thy Spouse! I will enter into Thy gardens, and there I will remain until I see the fulfilment of Thy promises, which never fail. Wash away our sins, O Lord, and purify our souls in the blood which Thy only-begotten Son shed for us, so that with joyful countenances and pure hearts we may return love for love, and, dying to ourselves, live for Him alone. Amen.

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May Nature Is Fire

In your nature, eternal Godhead,
I shall come to know my nature.
And what is my nature, boundless love?
It is fire,
because you are nothing but a fire of love.
And you have given humankind
a share in this nature,
for by the fire of love you created us.
And so with all other people
and every created thing;
you made them out of love.
O ungrateful people!
What nature has your God given you?
His very own nature!
Are you not ashamed to cut yourself off from such a noble thing
through the guilt of deadly sin?
O eternal Trinity, my sweet love!
You, light, give us light.
You, wisdom, give us wisdom.
You, supreme strength, strengthen us.
Today, eternal God,
let our cloud be dissipated
so that we may perfectly know and follow your Truth in truth,
with a free and simple heart.
God, come to our assistance!
Lord, make haste to help us!

Amen.

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St. Catherine of Siena 2 Prayers of St. Catherine of SienaO Supreme and Ineffable God

O Supreme and Ineffable God, I have sinned! Therefore, I am unworthy to pray to Thee. But Thou canst make me less unworthy. Punish my sins, O Lord, but turn not away from my misery. From Thee I have received a body which I offer to Thee. Behold my body and my blood! Strike, destroy, reduce my bones to dust, but grant me what I ask for the Sovereign Pontiff, the one Bridegroom of Thy Spouse. May he always know Thy will, may he love it and follow it, so that we may not perish. O my God, create a new heart in him! May he ever receive an increase of Thy grace; may he never tire of bearing the standard of Thy holy cross; and may he bestow the treasures of Thy mercy upon unbelievers as he bestows them upon us who enjoy the benefits of the passion and blood of Thy most beloved Son, the Lamb without a spot. O Lord, eternal God, have mercy on me for I have sinned.

 

 

For the Novena to St. Catherine of Siena page

 

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SCS1 – Introduction & Childhood – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr. Thomas McDermott SCS1   Introduction & Childhood   St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.Episode 1 St. Catherine of Siena:  Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott-

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St. Catherine of Siena 252x300 SCS1   Introduction & Childhood   St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.In this introductory episode, Fr. McDermott discusses the person of Blessed Raymond of Capua, O.P., (ca. 1330 – 5 October 1399), who was a leading member of the Dominican Order, served as its Master General from 1380 until his death, and was confessor and biographer of St. Catherine.  Fr. McDermott talks about the importance of having the Dominican perspective when looking at the accounts of St. Catherine’s life.  Her family and early childhood, including her first mystical experience, are then discussed.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and  “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”.  He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.  He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

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SCS2 – The Fundamental Maxim and The Dark Night of Self-Knowldege – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr. Thomas McDermott SCS2   The Fundamental Maxim and The Dark Night of Self Knowldege    St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.Episode 2 St. Catherine of Siena:  Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott-

play audio SCS2   The Fundamental Maxim and The Dark Night of Self Knowldege    St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

St. Catherine of Siena 252x300 SCS2   The Fundamental Maxim and The Dark Night of Self Knowldege    St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.In this episode, Fr. McDermott discusses the difference between solitude and isolation by means of moments in St. Catherine’s life.

 What is a “Third Order” and why did St. Catherine choose this means to live out her life?  A dream affected St. Catherine deeply.  Fr. McDermott teaches how we can discern dreams that might occur in our lives.  

Why would St. Catherine have a special devotion to St. Mary Magdalene?   Fr. McDermott discusses the significance of the “fundamental maxim” and the imagery of  “the well”, and the times of temptation that began to occur in her life and the experience of “The Dark Night of Self-Knowledge”.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and  “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”.  He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.  He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

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SCS3 – The Mystical Experiences – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr. Thomas McDermott SCS3   The Mystical Experiences    St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.Episode 3 St. Catherine of Siena:  Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott-

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St. Catherine of Siena 252x300 SCS3   The Mystical Experiences    St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.In this episode, Fr. McDermott discusses the experience of St. Catherine’s “Mystical Espousal” and it’s spiritual relevance.

 The virtues are discussed as central to St. Catherine’s teachings and the importance of properly understanding their value in our lives.  The response to the needs of one’s neighbor is emphasized.  In particular, the special interaction with Andrea, the woman with cancer, is presented as an extraordinary moment of grace which aided in St. Catherine’s spiritual maturity and growth in holiness.  Fr. McDermott addresses the contemporary “controversy” over the actions taken in this particular experience. 

The other experiences of the summer 1380, the exchange of hearts the mystical death are discussed, as well as, the saint’s invisible stigmata.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and  “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”.  He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.  He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St. Catherine of Siena book 200x300 SCS3   The Mystical Experiences    St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
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SCS4 – The Avignon and Rome Years – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr. Thomas McDermott SCS4   The Avignon and Rome Years    St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.Episode 4 St. Catherine of Siena: Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott-

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St. Catherine of Siena 252x300 SCS4   The Avignon and Rome Years    St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.In this episode, Fr. McDermott discusses the experience of St. Catherine’s intervention in the events in Avignon, France and her influence with the Pope.

Fr. McDermott speaks of her time in Rome and the events surrounding her deathAnd we lay the groundwork for our future episodes which we discuss specific aspects of St. Catherine’s teachings.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”. He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St. Catherine of Siena book 200x300 SCS4   The Avignon and Rome Years    St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
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SCS5 – “The Supreme Truth” and other topics – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr. Thomas McDermott SCS5   The Supreme Truth and other topics   St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.Episode 5 St. Catherine of Siena: Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott

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St. Catherine of Siena 252x300 SCS5   The Supreme Truth and other topics   St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.In this episode, Fr. McDermott  begins a more generalized discussion on the teachings of St. Catherine of Siena.

Fr. McDermott speaks of “The Dialogue” and how it came to be.  Some of the basic teachings of St. Catherine are presented such as “The Truth of God the Father”.  He relates the motto of the  Dominican order, “Veritas” (Truth), was foundational for St. Catherine.  The Supreme Truth about God and the truth of the human person.  Fr. McDermott also touches on St. Catherine’s teachings on sin, selfish self-love in particular.  How do we arrive at “truth”?  Prayer is key, along with the Scriptures and the Sacraments.  Also St. Catherine’s teachings on discernment, humility, love, patience and obedience, as well as, the doctrine of deification, is addressed.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”. He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St. Catherine of Siena book 200x300 SCS5   The Supreme Truth and other topics   St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
by Fr. McDermott

 

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SCS6 – “The Precious Blood”, “The Christ Bridge” and other topics – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Fr. Thomas McDermott SCS6   The Precious Blood, The Christ Bridge and other topics   St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.Episode 6 St. Catherine of Siena: Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott

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St. Catherine of Siena 252x300 SCS6   The Precious Blood, The Christ Bridge and other topics   St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.In this episode, Fr. McDermott aids in our understanding of St. Catherine’s teachings on the “Blood of Christ” and it’s context from Sacred Scripture and Medieval sensibilities.  He discusses “The Christ Bridge” as a central image in St. Catherine’s writings one’s spiritual journey.  The flowering of baptismal grace is exemplified in this teaching.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”. He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He crrently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St. Catherine of Siena book 200x300 SCS6   The Precious Blood, The Christ Bridge and other topics   St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
by Fr. McDermott

 

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