Today the Roman Catholic Church celebrates St. Catherine of Sienna. On the heritage tour we will have the honor of walking in her footsteps as well as the somewhat morbid experience – at least in our cultural experience – of venerating her severed head. A foot of the Saint and Doctor of the Church resides in a Church in Venice and the rest of her body is in Rome, so by the end of the trip we will have seen most all of her body – just one interesting thing to prepare yourself for as we head over to Europe (no pun intended, well maybe so).
Below is a brief Martyrology posted by Daylesford Abbey – a Norbertine sister Abbey of St. Norbert Abbey that is in Philadelphia.
Today the Church remembers St Catherine of Siena (1347 – 1380), Virgin and Doctor – She was born in Siena and, seeking perfection, entered the Third Order of the Dominicans when she was still in her teens. In 1370 she was commanded by a vision to leave her secluded life and enter the public life of the world. She wrote letters to many major public figures and carried on a long correspondence with Pope Gregory XI, urging him to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States. She burned with the love of God and her neighbour. As an ambassador she brought peace and harmony between cities She fought hard to defend the liberty and rights of the Popes and did much for the renewal of religious life. She also dictated books full of sound doctrine and spiritual inspiration. She died on 29 April 1380. In 1970 Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church.