St. Catherine of Siena – Virgin & Doctor of the Church
1347 – 1380
Feastday: April 29
The 25th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions of Christ, Mary, and the saints. St. Catherine never had any formal education; she was taught theology by the Lord Himself. She persuaded the Pope to go back to Rome from Avignon in 1377, and when she died she was endeavoring to heal the Great Western Schism. In 1375, Our Lord gave her the Stigmata, which was visible only after her death. St. Catherine’s letters, and a treatise called the “Dialogue” are considered among the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church. She died when she was only 33, and her body was found incorrupt in 1430.