ST CATHARINE OF SIENA, VIRGIN – MEMORIAL: APRIL 29
Catharine of Siena, virgin, was born of a good Christian family and early in life took the habit of the Third Order of St Dominic. She practised severe abstinence and a remarkable austerity of life. At Pisa, she became rapt in ecstasy after receiving Holy Communion and had a vision of the crucified of the crucified Christ, encircled with a great light, approaching her. From his five wounds, rays emanated and fell upon her body. Aware of this miracle, she asked Christ that the stigmata be invisible, and the stigmata changed from a blood red to a clear bright light which passed into her hands, feet, and side. Although no wounds showed, she experienced such severe bodily pain that she felt she would have died had not God mitigated it. She possessed infused learning.
She visited Pope Gregory XI at Avignon and told him that his vow to return to Rome, known to God alone, had been divinely revealed to her, and she was instrumental in effecting the Pope’s return to the See of Rome. At about the age of thirty-three she passed to her Spouse. Pius II added her to the list of holy virgins.
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964