St Catherine of Siena
Born in Siena in 1347, Catherine was the twenty third of twenty five children. Catherine realised at a very young age, God’s call to give herself totally to him. Having known the Dominican Friars from childhood, she herself felt drawn to the Dominican life. At the age of 16 or 17 she joined a group of Dominican laywomen who lived in their homes while dedicating their lives to prayer and active works of charity. Though Catherine’s family at first, opposed her wishes and the sisters themselves thought her too young to persevere, Catherine steadfastly grew in her conviction that God had called her to be a Dominican.
Catherine’s first years as a Dominican were spent in seclusion in her family home where she prepared for an active life of service to others. As the years went on, this service took the form of caring for the sick and poor, nursing plague victims and counselling others who wished to grow spiritually.
Catherine died in Rome in 1380 at the age of 33, having dedicated her life completely for the good of the Church. Dominicans today are called to communicate the same urgent truths as did St Catherine of Siena. Her example of active enthusiasm continues to inspire Dominican men and women today.
Feast Day: April 29