St. Catherine Of Siena (1347-1380)
Feast Day: April 29
Canonization: June 29, 1461
St. Catherine of Siena is among the Church’s most influential mystics and spiritual writers.
Before her death at 33, Catherine became a renowned mystic who played a key role in convincing Pope Gregory XI to leave Avignon and return to Rome – during a confusing time when three men claimed to be pope. Even other saints from that early Renaissance period took opposing sides. As papal envoy, she worked with princes and cardinals in efforts to heal the Western Schism, an extraordinarily tumultuous time in Church history
Born and raised in Siena, Italy, from a young age Catherine devoted herself to God. Her holiness and spiritual gifts — she even suffered from an invisible stigmata — drew many followers.
Worn out from years of penance and apostolic endeavors, Catherine died in Rome on April 29, 1380. She was canonized in 1461, declared patron saint of Rome in 1866, and of Italy in 1939 along with St. Francis of Assisi. In 1970, Pope Paul VI declared Catherine a Doctor of the Church. Her testament on living the spiritual life to its fullest is found in The Dialogue.