Feast of St. Catherine of Genoa (September 15)   Leave a comment

Roman Catholic Mystic and Humanitarian; died in 1510

St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510) was born to the prominent Fieschi family of Genoa.  At age 13 she tried to enter a convent, for her sister was a nun.  The Augustinian Sisters turned St. Catherine away because of her youth.  Three years later, St. Catherine’s parents married her off to a violent and sexually faithless nobleman, Giuiliano Adorno, who made St. Catherine’s life miserable for years.

In 1473, after a decade of wedded misery, St. Catherine had a mystical experience, after which she began to take communion and pray the rosary daily.  And she began to volunteer at a local hospital, eventually becoming its manager and treasurer.

Her husband, who had become a different man after a conversion experience and helped run a hospital, died in 1497.

St. Catherine devoted most of her life to caring for the ill of Genoa, including during the plagues of 1497 and 1501.

She wrote, too, leaving Dialogues on the Soul and the Body and Treatise on Purgatory.  Based on these writings and her holy life, St. Catherine’s cause attracted supporters in high places in the Roman Catholic Church.  Pope Clement I beatified her in 1675, Pope Clement XII canonized her in 1737, and Pope Pius XII declared her the Patroness of Italian Hospitals.

God of compassion, you comforted St. Catherine of Genoa and transformed her life of misery into one of service and deep contemplation.  Inspired by her example, may we love and serve you through daily prayer, frequent communion, and selfless service to others.  In the name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2 Maccabees 12:39-45

Psalm 4

James 1:17-27

Matthew 25:31-45

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 19, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEASTS OF ANNE HUTCHINSON, JOHN EUDES, AND BLAISE PASCAL

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