Celebrate St. Catherine of Siena


St. Catherine of Siena (March 25, 1347–April 29, 1380) had a deep love for Christ from a young age, so much so that when her family tried to persuade her to get married at the age of 16, she cut her hair short and began fasting in protest.

Her family relented, allowing her to spend much of her time secluded in prayer in her bedroom. At the age of 18, she joined the Dominican Third Order.

Gradually, her reputation for holiness and personal charisma attracted a circle of followers. Before long, she was employing multiple scribes to keep up a lively correspondence with an ever-widening circle of influential Church and secular leaders, including kings, queens, and even the pope.

These leaders turned to her for her advice and guidance, a role which led her to travel across Europe seeking reconciliation between warring parties. She urged Pope Gregory XI to return his administration to Rome and lobbied on behalf of the legitimacy of Pope Urban VI during the Great Schism of 1378.

When she wasn’t resolving international crises, Catherine helped care for victims of the Black Plague in the city’s hospitals, caring for the worst patients and even burying those who had died. Today she is one of the patron saints of nurses.

Her rich prayer life included frequent visions and ecstasies, the fruits of which were recorded in her Dialogue of Divine Providence. Her hundreds of letters are considered to be one of the early great works of Tuscan literature.

Her rigorous abstinence may have contributed to her death at the age of 33. She is one of two patron saints of Italy (the other is St. Francis), one of six patron saints of Europe, and a Doctor of the Church.


Pray the litany of Catherine of Siena with your kids:

Lord, have mercy on us.
 Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us.
 Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven,
 Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
 Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
 Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
 Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
 Pray for us. (repeat after each line)
St. Dominic, glorious Patriarch,
St. Catherine of Siena,
Benevolent mother of the poor,
Merciful mother of the sick,
Refuge of the sorrowful,
Intercessor for sinners,
Rose of patience,
Model of humility,
Lily of chastity,
Vessel of graces,
Zealous promoter of the honor of God,
Luster of holiness,
Example of mildness,
Glory of the Order of Preachers,
Fruitful mother of spiritual children,
Promoter of peace,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Follower of Jesus,
St. Catherine, who did give the blossoms of your innocent youth to the service of your
Heavenly Spouse,
St. Catherine, whom Jesus Himself did feed with His Body and Blood,
St. Catherine, who exchanged her heart with the Heart of Jesus,
St. Catherine, who was blest with His Holy Wounds,
St. Catherine, who was taken to Heaven to the celestial nuptials,
St. Catherine, who did receive a hundredfold, reward for all her labors and merits,

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
 Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
 Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
 Have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O glorious Virgin, St. Catherine
 That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray, O God, who gave St. Catherine, graced with the special privilege of virginity, patience to overcome the assault of evil spirits and to stand unshaken in the love of your Name. Grant we beseech you, that after her example treading under foot the wickedness of the world and overcoming the wiles of all enemies, we may safely pass onward to your glory. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Learn more

Catherine of Siena on SaintNook
Check out Catherine of Siena on SaintNook, which collects all of the online resources about the saints in one convenient, beautiful website.

Catherine of Siena
All the details at Wikipedia.

St. Catherine of Siena: Her life and works
Read her biography and her Dialogue at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.