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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #140 on: April 10, 2009, 06:33:56 AM »
Saint of the Day
April 9

St. Waldetrudis

Also known as Waltrude or Waudru, she was the daughter of Saints Walbert and Bertilia and sister of St. Aldegunus of Maubeuge. Marrying St. Vincent Madelgarius, she became the mother of saints Landericus, Madalberta, Adeltrudis, and Dentelin. When her husband chose to become a  monk about 643 in the monastery of Hautrnont, France, he had founded, she established a convent at Chateaulieu, around which grew up the town of Mons, Belgium.

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #141 on: April 13, 2009, 11:08:54 PM »
Saint Hermenegild (ca. 564 - April 13, 585), or Saint Ermengild (Spanish: San Hermenegildo) (from Gothic Ermen Gild: "immense tribute"), was a member of the Visigothic Royal Family in Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising both modern Spain and Portugal). His ultimate martyrdom was the catalyst in the Visigoths' conversion from Arianism to Catholicism.

St. Hermenegild was the son of King Leovigild and brother to Reccared. He was brought up in the Arian belief, but married Ingund (the daughter of the Frankish King Sigebert I of Austrasia), who was a Catholic. Ingund was pressured by Leovigild's wife Goiswinth to abjure her beliefs, but she would not abandon her faith.

Under Ingund's influence, and that of St. Leander, Hermenegild was converted to Catholicism. His family demanded that he return to the Arian faith, but he refused. As a result, he led a revolt against Leovigild. He asked for the aid of the Byzantines, but he was left without aid. After some time he sought sanctuary in a church. Leovigild would not violate the sanctuary, but sent Reccared instead inside to speak with St. Hermenegild and to offer peace. This was accepted, and peace was made for some time. Goiswinth, however, brought about another alienation within the family. St. Hermenegild was imprisoned in Tarragona or Toledo. He subjected himself to mortifications, and asked God to aid him in his struggles.

During his captivity in the tower of Seville, an Arian bishop was sent to St. Hermenegild during the Easter Season, but he would not accept Holy Communion from the hands of that prelate.[1] King Leovigild ordered him to be murdered, and the axemen found him to be resigned to this end. He was martyred on April 13, 585. The later conversion of King Reccared to Catholicism has been attributed to his brother's (St. Hermenegild's) intercession.

His son by his wife, named Athanagild, born ca 585, went to exile in the Byzantine Empire. There he married Flavia Juliana, born ca 590, daughter of Petrus Augustus (ca 550 - 602), Curopalates and brother of Maurice, killed at the same time of his brother, and wife Anastasia Areobinda (b. ca 570). They had an only son Artabastos (Greek form of Artavazd, Armenian name, origin of Petrus Augustus), born circa 611, who married Goda, Glasvinda or Galesvinda, born ca 610, a niece or a daughter of Chindasuinth, King of the Visigoths. Their son became King Erwig of the Visigoths.

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #142 on: April 14, 2009, 07:08:56 AM »
Pope Saint Martin I
Feastday: April 13
Martin I lay too sick to fight on a couch in front of the altar when the soldiers burst into the Lateran basilica. He had come to the church when he heard the soldiers had landed. But the thought of kidnapping a sick pope from the house of God didn't stop the soldiers from grabbing him and hustling him down to their ship.

Elected pope in 649, Martin I had gotten in trouble for refusing to condone silence in the face of wrong. At that time there existed a popular heresy that held that Christ didn't have a human will, only a divine will. The emperor had issued an edict that didn't support Monothelism (as it was known) directly, but simply commanded that no one could discuss Jesus' will at all.

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #143 on: April 14, 2009, 02:31:20 PM »
April 14, 2009

Blessed Peter Gonzalez

(d. 1246)

 
 
St. Paul had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Many years later, the same proved true for Peter Gonzalez, who triumphantly rode his horse into the Spanish city of Astorga in the 13th century to take up an important post at the cathedral. The animal stumbled and fell, leaving Peter in the mud and onlookers amused.
Humbled, Peter reevaluated his motivations (his bishop-uncle had secured the cathedral post for him) and started down a new path. He became a Dominican priest and proved to be a most effective preacher. He spent much of his time as court chaplain, and attempted to exert positive influence on the behavior of members of the court. After King Ferdinand III and his troops defeated the Moors at Cordoba, Peter was successful in restraining the soldiers from pillaging and persuaded the king to treat the defeated Moors with compassion.

After retiring from the court Peter devoted the remainder of his life to preaching in northwest Spain. He developed a special mission to Spanish and Portuguese seamen. He is the patron of sailors.

Peter Gonzalez died in 1246 and was beatified in 1741.

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #144 on: April 14, 2009, 11:59:56 PM »
St. Lydwine
Feastday: April 14
Patron of sickness


St. Lydwine is the patroness of sickness Lydwine of Schiedam was born at Schiedam, Holland, one of nine children of a working man. After an injury in her youth, she became bedridden and suffered the rest of her life from various illnesses and diseases. She experienced mystical gifts, including supernatural visions of heaven, hell, purgatory, apparitions of Christ, and the stigmata. Thomas a Kempis wrote a biography of her. She was canonized Pope Leo XIII in 1890. Lydwine suffered a fall while ice skating in 1396, when a friend collided with her and caused her to break a rib on the right side. From this injury, she never recovered. An abscess formed inside her body which later burst and caused Lydwine extreme suffering. Eventually, she was to suffer a series of mysterious illnesses which in retrospect seemed to be from the hands of God. Lydwine heroically accepted her plight as the will of God and offered up her sufferings for the sins of humanity. Some of the illnesses which affected Lydwine were headaches, vomiting, fever, thirst, bedsores, toothaches, spasms of the muscles, blindness, neuritis and the stigmata. Her feast day is April 14.
 

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #145 on: April 16, 2009, 06:00:57 AM »
Prayer - Saint Bernadette of Lourdes ( April 16 )

    O God, protector and lover of the humble, You bestowed on Your servant, Bernadette, the favor of the vision of Our Lady, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, and of speech with her. Grant that we may deserve to behold You in heaven. Amen.

Nothing is anything more to me; everything is nothing to me, but Jesus: neither things nor persons, neither ideas nor emotions, neither honor nor sufferings. Jesus is for me honor, delight, heart and soul. - Saint Bernadette

You must receive God well; give Him a loving welcome, for then He has to pay us rent. - Saint Bernadette

The more I am crucified, the more I rejoice. - Saint Bernadette Soubirous

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #146 on: April 16, 2009, 06:26:01 PM »
April 16, 2009

St. Bernadette Soubirous

(1844-1879)

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Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844, the first child of an extremely poor miller in the town of Lourdes in southern France. The family was living in the basement of a dilapidated building when on February 11,1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette in a cave above the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes. Bernadette, 14 years old, was known as a virtuous girl though a dull student who had not even made her first Holy Communion. In poor health, she had suffered from asthma from an early age.
There were 18 appearances in all, the final one occurring on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16. Although Bernadette's initial reports provoked skepticism, her daily visions of "the Lady" brought great crowds of the curious. The Lady, Bernadette explained, had instructed her to have a chapel built on the spot of the visions. There the people were to come to wash in and drink of the water of the spring that had welled up from the very spot where Bernadette had been instructed to dig.

According to Bernadette, the Lady of her visions was a girl of 16 or 17 who wore a white robe with a blue sash. Yellow roses covered her feet, a large rosary was on her right arm. In the vision on March 25 she told Bernadette, "I am the Immaculate Conception." It was only when the words were explained to her that Bernadette came to realize who the Lady was.

Few visions have ever undergone the scrutiny that these appearances of the Immaculate Virgin were subject to. Lourdes became one of the most popular Marian shrines in the world, attracting millions of visitors. Miracles were reported at the shrine and in the waters of the spring. After thorough investigation Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions in 1862.

During her life Bernadette suffered much. She was hounded by the public as well as by civic officials until at last she was protected in a convent of nuns. Five years later she petitioned to enter the sisters of Notre Dame. After a period of illness she was able to make the journey from Lourdes and enter the novitiate. But within four months of her arrival she was given the last rites of the Church and allowed to profess her vows. She recovered enough to become infirmarian and then sacristan, but chronic health problems persisted. She died on April 16, 1879, at the age of 35.

She was canonized in 1933.


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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #147 on: April 18, 2009, 05:53:00 PM »
April 18, 2009

Blessed James Oldo

(1364-1404)

 
 
You’ve heard rags-to-riches stories. Today, we celebrate the reverse.
James of Oldo was born in 1364, into a well-to-do family near Milan. He married a woman who, like him, appreciated the comforts that came with wealth. But an outbreak of plague drove James, his wife and their three children out of their home and into the countryside. Despite those precautions, two of his daughters died from the plague, James determined to use whatever time he had left to build up treasures in heaven and to build God’s realm on earth.

He and his wife became Secular Franciscans. James gave up his old lifestyle and did penance for his sins. He cared for a sick priest, who taught him Latin. Upon the death of his wife, James himself became a priest. His house was transformed into a chapel where small groups of people, many of them fellow Secular Franciscans, came for prayer and support. James focused on caring for the sick and for prisoners of war. He died in 1404 after contracting a disease from one of his patients.

James Oldo was beatified in 1933.


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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #148 on: April 21, 2009, 01:20:55 AM »
St. Marian
Feastday: April 20


When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian (also known as Marian), a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by the Visigoths. St. Mamertinus gave him the habit, and the novice edified all his piety and obedience. The Abbot, wishing to test him, gave him the lowest possible post - that of cowman and shepherd in the Abbey farm at Merille. Marcian accepted the work cheerfully, and it was noticed that the beast under his charge throve and multified astonishingly. He seemed to have a strange power over all animals. The birds flocked to eat out of his hands: bears and wolves departed at his command; and when a hunted wild boar fled to him for protection, he defended it from its assailants and set it free. After his death, the Abbey took the name of the humble monk. His feast day is April 20th.

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #149 on: April 21, 2009, 02:50:16 PM »
April 21, 2009

St. Anselm

(1033-1109)

 
 
Indifferent toward religion as a young man, Anselm became one of the Church's greatest theologians and leaders. He received the title "Father of Scholasticism" for his attempt to analyze and illumine the truths of faith through the aid of reason.
At 15, Anselm wanted to enter a monastery, but was refused acceptance because of his father's opposition. Twelve years later, after careless disinterest in religion and years of worldly living, he finally fulfilled his desire to be a monk. He entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy, three years later was elected prior and 15 years later was unanimously chosen abbot.

Considered an original and independent thinker, Anselm was admired for his patience, gentleness and teaching skill. Under his leadership, the abbey of Bec became a monastic school, influential in philosophical and theological studies.

During these years, at the community's request, Anselm began publishing his theological works, comparable to those of St. Augustine. His best-known work is the book Cur Deus Homo ("Why God Became Man").

At 60, against his will, Anselm was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1093. His appointment was opposed at first by England's King William Rufus and later accepted. Rufus persistently refused to cooperate with efforts to reform the Church.

Anselm finally went into voluntary exile until Rufus died in 1100. He was then recalled to England by Rufus's brother and successor, Henry I. Disagreeing fearlessly with Henry over the king's insistence on investing England's bishops, Anselm spent another three years in exile in Rome.

His care and concern extended to the very poorest people; he opposed the slave trade. Anselm obtained from the national council at Westminster the passage of a resolution prohibiting the sale of human beings.



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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #150 on: April 22, 2009, 05:47:52 PM »
April 22, 2009

St. Adalbert of Prague

(956-97)

 
 
Opposition to the Good News of Jesus did not discourage Adalbert, who is now remembered with great honor in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Germany.
Born to a noble family in Bohemia, he received part of his education from St. Adalbert of Magdeburg. At the age of 27 he was chosen as bishop of Prague. Those who resisted his program of clerical reform forced him into exile eight years later.

In time the people of Prague requested his return as their bishop. Within a short time, however, he was exiled again after excommunicating those who violated the right of sanctuary by dragging a woman accused of adultery from a church and murdering her.

After a short ministry in Hungary, he went to preach the Good News to people living near the Baltic Sea. He and two companions were martyred by pagan priests in that region. Adalbert's body was immediately ransomed and buried in Gniezno cathedral (Poland). In the mid-11th century his body was moved to St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.



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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #151 on: April 23, 2009, 05:57:50 AM »
Saint of the Day
April 22

St. Abdiesus

Also called Hebed Jesus, a deacon in the Christian community of Persia who was caught up in the persecutions conducted by King Shapur II. Records indicate that Abdiesus was accompanied in his martyrdom by Abrosimus, Acepsimus, Azadanes, Azades, Bicor, Mareas, Milles, and a women named Tarbula. Some were Persian courtiers, others priests and bishops. Tarbula was the sister of St. Simeon, and suffered a particularly cruel death by sawing.

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #152 on: April 24, 2009, 05:11:57 PM »
April 24, 2009

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

(1577-1622)

 
 
If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life.
Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a Franciscan friar of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor.

As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. Once, during a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers.

He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions.

He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed.



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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #153 on: April 25, 2009, 12:48:44 AM »
St. Mark
Feastday: April 25
Patron of notaries


St. Mark
The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there.

St. Mark was associated with St. Paul and St. Barnabas (who was Mark's cousin) on their missionary journey through the island of Cyprus. Later he accompanied St. Barnabas alone. We know also that he was in Rome with St. Peter and St. Paul. Tradition ascribes to him the founding of the Church in Alexandria.

St. Mark wrote the second Gospel, probably in Rome sometime before the year 60 A.D.; he wrote it in Greek for the Gentile converts to Christianity. Tradition tells us that St. Mark was requested by the Romans to set down the teachings of St. Peter. This seems to be confirmed by the position which St. Peter has in this Gospel. In this way the second Gospel is a record of the life of Jesus as seen throuhh the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles. His feast day is April 25. He is the patron saint of notaries.

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #154 on: April 25, 2009, 12:49:58 AM »
St. Cletus
Feastday: April 26


St. Cletus Popes, Martyrs April 26 A.D. 91     St. Cletus was the third bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. Linus, which circumstance alone shows his eminent virtue among the first disciples of St. Peter in the West. He sat twelve years, from 76 to 89. The canon of the Roman mass, (which Bossuet and all others agree to be of primitive antiquity,) Bede, and other Martyrologists, style him a martyr. He was buried near St. Linus, on the Vatican, end his relics still remain in that church.

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #155 on: April 25, 2009, 12:50:50 AM »
Blessed Peter Armengol
Feastday: April 27


1238-1304 Member of a noble Catalonian family, he is said in an extravagant story to have become an outlaw, almost killing his father in an ambush, whereupon he joined the Mercedarians. He twice went from Spain to Africa to redeem captives/ held as a hostage, he was hanged , but found to be alive by another missioner who had been delayed. He continued his work of rescuing Christians from the Mooors for ten more years. He died near Tarragona, Slpain.His feastday is April 27.

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #156 on: April 26, 2009, 08:01:35 PM »
April 26, 2009

St. Pedro de San José Betancur

(1626-1667)

 
 
Central America can claim its first saint with the July 30 canonization of Pedro de Betancur by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City. Known as the "St. Francis of the Americas," Pedro de Betancur is the first saint to have worked and died in Guatemala.
Calling the new saint an “outstanding example” of Christian mercy, the Holy Father noted that St. Pedro practiced mercy “heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.” Speaking to the estimated 500,000 Guatemalans in attendance, the Holy Father spoke of the social ills that plague the country today and of the need for change.

“Let us think of the children and young people who are homeless or deprived of an education; of abandoned women with their many needs; of the hordes of social outcasts who live in the cities; of the victims of organized crime, of prostitution or of drugs; of the sick who are neglected and the elderly who live in loneliness,” he said in his homily during the three-hour liturgy.

Pedro very much wanted to become a priest, but God had other plans for the young man born into a poor family on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Pedro was a shepherd until age 24, when he began to make his way to Guatemala, hoping to connect with a relative engaged in government service there. By the time he reached Havana, he was out of money. After working there to earn more, he got to Guatemala City the following year. When he arrived he was so destitute that he joined the bread line which the Franciscans had established.

Soon, Pedro enrolled in the local Jesuit college in hopes of studying for the priesthood. No matter how hard he tried, however, he could not master the material; he withdrew from school. In 1655 he joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he opened a hospital for the convalescent poor; a shelter for the homeless and a school for the poor soon followed. Not wanting to neglect the rich of Guatemala City, Pedro began walking through their part of town ringing a bell and inviting them to repent.

Other men came to share in Pedro's work. Soon they became the Bethlehemite Congregation, which went on to earn official papal approval after Pedro's death.

He is sometimes credited with originating the Christmas Eve posadas procession in which people representing Mary and Joseph seek a night's lodging from their neighbors. The custom soon spread to Mexico and other Central American countries.

Pedro was beatified in 1980.

Comment:

As humans, we often pride ourselves on our ability to reason. But, as Pedro’s life shows, other skills may be an even more crucial element of our humanity than a clever mind: compassion, imagination, love. Unable to master studies for the priesthood despite his efforts, Pedro responded to the needs of homeless and sick people; he provided education to the poor and salvation to the rich. He became holy—as fully human as any of us can ever be.
 

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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #157 on: April 27, 2009, 02:13:19 PM »
April 27, 2009

St. Louis Mary de Montfort

(1673-1716)

 
 
Louis's life is inseparable from his efforts to promote genuine devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the Church.Totus tuus(completely yours) was Louis's personal motto; Karol Wojtyla chose it as his episcopal motto.
Born in the Breton village of Montfort, close to Rennes (France), as an adult Louis identified himself by the place of his Baptism instead of his family name, Grignion. After being educated by the Jesuits and the Sulpicians, he was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1700.

Soon he began preaching parish missions throughout western France. His years of ministering to the poor prompted him to travel and live very simply, sometimes getting him into trouble with Church authorities. In his preaching, which attracted thousands of people back to the faith, Father Louis recommended frequent, even daily, Holy Communion (not the custom then!) and imitation of the Virgin Mary's ongoing acceptance of God's will for her life.

Louis founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (for priests and brothers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, who cared especially for the sick. His book, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, has become a classic explanation of Marian devotion.

Louis died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, where a basilica has been erected in his honor. He was canonized in 1947.



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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #158 on: April 28, 2009, 05:34:30 PM »
April 28, 2009

St. Peter Chanel

(1803-1841)

 
 
Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel.
As a young priest he revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary (Marists) at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania where he was entrusted with a vicariate. The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island in the New Hebrides, promising to return in six months. The interval lasted five years.

Meanwhile he struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders and warring natives. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained a serene and gentle spirit and endless patience and courage. A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain's son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death, his body cut to pieces.

Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.


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Re: Saints of the Day
« Reply #159 on: April 29, 2009, 02:21:23 PM »
April 29, 2009

St. Catherine of Siena

(1347-1380)

 
 
The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time.
She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation.

She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer and austerity. Gradually a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374.

Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope

In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children."

Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1970 Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila as doctors of the Church. In recent years, it has been suggested that she (among other possibilities) should be named patron of the Internet. Her spiritual testament is found in The Dialogue.





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