Saint Catherine of Siena

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Caterina Benincasa, Saint Catherine of Siena

Also Known As: "Euphrosyne"
Birthdate: (33)
Birthplace: Sienna, Italy
Death: April 29, 1380 (33)
Rome, Italy
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Giancomo di Benincasa and Lapa di Benincasa
Sister of Giovanna Benincasa

Occupation: Patron Saint of Italy , Plus one of Europe's patron saints. She is also the patroness of the historically Catholic American sorority, Theta Phi Alpha.
Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena is a greatly respected figure for her spiritual writings, and political boldness to "speak truth to power"— it being exceptional for a woman, in her time period, to have had such influence in politics and on world history. Catherine corresponded with Pope Gregory XI, and was beatified by three Popes through the ages--:

In an exquisitely beautiful and moving wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey, H.R.H. Prince William of Wales, K.G. & Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge entered into the mystical bonds of marriage April 29th, 2011- Saint Catherine's Day.

A lovely quote from St. Catherine was used in their ceremony. “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

Catherine was so merry as a child that the family gave her the pet name of Euphrosyne, which is Greek for Joy and also the name of an early Christian saint.

Saint Catherine of Siena (25 March 1347 in Siena – 29 April 1380 in Rome) was a tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She is one of the two patron saints of Italy, together with Francis of Assisi.

"Mystic marriage of Saint Catherine". Her biographer Raymond of Capua also records that she was told by Christ to leave her withdrawn life and enter the public life of the world. Catherine dedicated much of her life to helping the ill and the poor, where she took care of them in hospitals or homes.

Catherine began traveling with her followers throughout northern and central Italy advocating reform of the clergy and the launch of a new crusade and advising people that repentance and renewal could be done through "the total love for God."

Physical travel was not the only way in which Catherine made her views known. In the early 1370s, she began writing letters to men and women of her circle, increasingly widening her audience to include figures in authority as she begged for peace between the republics and principalities of Italy and for the return of the Papacy from Avignon to Rome. She carried on a long correspondence with Pope Gregory XI.

St Catherine's letters are considered one of the great works of early Tuscan literature. More than 300 have survived. In her letters to the Pope, she often referred to him affectionately as Papa ("Pope" in Italian).

Pope Pius II canonized St Catherine in the year 1461. Her feast day, at the time, was not included in the Roman Calendar. When it was added in 1597, it was put on the day of her death, April 29.

On May 5, 1940 Pope Pius XII named her a joint Patron Saint of Italy along with Saint Francis of Assisi. Pope Paul VI gave her the title of Doctor of the Church in 1970 along with Saint Teresa of Ávila making them the first women to receive this honour.

In 1999, Pope John Paul II made her one of Europe's patron saints. She is also the patroness of the historically Catholic American sorority, Theta Phi Alpha.

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Saint Catherine of Siena's Timeline

March 25, 1347
April 29, 1380
Age 33