Thursday, April 29, 2010

St. Catherine of Siena, Teacher of the Church

The Church remembers today a remarkable woman Saint Catherine of Siena the Dominican (1347-1380)

Catherine of Siena was one of the greatest women that ever lived. When she was a little girl, our dear Lord appeared to her. "Please give me your heart," he asked. She gave it willingly. Jesus gave her His Sacred Heart in return. Many rich young men wanted to marry this beautiful girl. Instead, she became a Dominican sister.

In those days, the Pope did not live in Rome. He had moved to France. Catherine went to see him. "Holy Father," she said, "your place is in Rome. Come home to your people." The Pope obeyed this simple little nun. Many of the princes were furious. They did not want the Pope in Rome. So they tried to elect a false Pope. Catherine, without fear, told them this was wrong. They were afraid of her. They listened and obeyed.

The Pope knew she was very wise, and often asked for her advice. She always told him just what Jesus wanted and what would please God. Although she was only thirty-three when she died, the whole world knew this saintly girl. They loved this brave woman. Her Feast is April 29th. --from Daniel A. Lord, S.J., Miniature Stories of the Saints


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.

St. Catherine is also one of three women who hold the title Doctor (=teacher) of the Church and is the patron saint of Italy.

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Busy days in TURIN, ROME

The trip to Turin to take part in the showing of the Holy Shroud was a moving experience and a very full day. And very tiring.

So, I am resting today and tomorrow, limiting myself to the Vox Clara sessions and a few calls to Vatican dicasteries on pending business. I plan to write up an account of the travel to the Piedmont capital before returning to Ottawa on Saturday.

Here is a brief report that appeared in Tuesday's chronicle of the Shroud of Turin's exhibition; even the local soccer players have attended:

OGGI I GIOCATORI DELLA JUVENTUS; DOMANI LA METROPOLIA ORTODOSSA ROMENA... Alle 14.15, mescolato tra i pellegrini, ha fatto visita alla Sindone anche l'Arcivescovo di Ottawa mons. Terrence Prendergast, arrivato ieri dal Canada per la presentazione ufficiale al Papa del nuovo messale romano tradotto dal latino in lingua inglese. «È la prima volta che vengo - ha esordito mons. Prendergast - e sono stato molto toccato: la Sindone, immagine della sofferenza, ci fa meditare su quanto grande è l'amore di Dio. Mi ha anche impressionato il motto, quanto mai vero, di questa ostensione "Passio Christi Passio Hominis"».

TODAY, JUVENTUS SOCCER PLAYERS, TOMORROW, THE ROMANIAN ORTHODOX METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOP'S DELEGATION... At 2:15, mixed in with the pilgrims, was the Archbishop of Ottawa Terrence Prendergast, just arrived from Canada for the official presentation to the Pope of the new Roman Missal translated from Latin into English. "It's my first time here, remarked Msgr. Prendergast, and I feel deeply touched: the Shroud, an image of suffering, makes us reflect on how great God's love is. The motto chosen for this showing of the Shroud, 'The Passion of Christ is the Passion of Man' (Passio Christi, Passio Hominis) has also made a deep impression on me--for it's so true".


  1. Just read that the English translation was recieved by the Holy Father...very exciting. Many prayers for you and the work you are doing for the Church. Peace,

  2. Thanks for your posts and journey mercies as you travel back to Ottawa!