Saint Catherine of Siena
April 29th — Feast Day
Liturgical Color: White
Patron Saint against fires and illness
Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, was born in Italy on March 25, 1347 and died on April 29, 1380. She is one of the most influential figures in Catholic history, revered as the Patron Saint of several areas across the globe, protecting against fire and bodily ills. Her feast day is April 29, and her liturgical color is white.
Saint Catherine was a lay member of the Dominican Order; she was an author, activist, and mystic who had many visions and conversations with God. As the 24th child of a pious family, she was exposed to religion at a young age. This led her to an ascetic life, through which she practiced extreme penance.
Over the years, she dictated many books, letters, and documents that would eventually establish her contributions to mystical theology. She had secretaries who would write down her visions and thoughts. In 1970, she was recognized as a Doctor of the Church, the first woman and layperson to be recognized as such.
Most Significant Contribution
Saint Catherine, through her intense holiness and passionate letters, convinced Pope Gregory XI to return the Papal Court to St. Peters from Avignon. After 67 years, the Catholic seat was finally back in Rome.
Prayer of Saint Catherine
Holy Spirit, come into my heart;
draw it to Thee by Thy power, O my God,
and grant me charity with filial fear.
Preserve me, O beautiful love, from every evil thought; warm me, inflame me with Thy dear love, and every pain will seem light to me. My Father, my sweet Lord, help me in all my actions.
Jesus, love, Jesus, love. Amen.
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