St. Catherine of Siena

Today is the feast day of St. Catherine of Siena, a Dominican tertiary and mystic who suffered the stigmata.  She died in Rome in 1380 at 33 years of age.  She received celestial visions and, as did many medieval women mystics, considered herself a Bride of Christ, devoting her virginity to Him at the age of 7.  She tended the sick and poor; one legend has it that she ate nothing but the consecrated Host and occasionally drank water from the bowls she used to wash the sores of lepers.  She served as an ambassador for the church during the political tumult prior to the Great Schism.  Her icons include the lily, the book, the crown of thorns, and the heart.

Some sources will tell you that she had a mystical vision of marrying Christ. What they often do not tell you is that in this vision, the wedding ring proffered was made of the circumcised foreskin of the Christ child.

She is invoked against fire, illness, and temptations.

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