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How to Lift a Curse: do the Wheel

April 30, 2011

Gods lubs 'em

Image Credit: The Sun.co.uk

St. Catherine of Siena

Born: March 25, 1347

Died: April 29, 1380

Canonized: 1461

Feast Day: April 30

Patron Saint of: fire prevention, Italy

Catherine was the 23rd of 25 children; the 24th, her twin, died at birth. At a very young and tender age, Catherine took a vow of virginity and devoted herself to her faith with continual and severe penance wearing a hair shirt under her clothing and fasting. At 6 years of age, she experienced a vision of Our Lord near the church of the Friar Preachers in the Valle Piatta. In the vision, Our Lord was clothed in pontifical garb with a tiara on top of his head and sat upon a throne surrounded by Saints Peter, Paul and John the Evangelist. Soon after that vision she joined the Order of Saint Dominic. At 17, she became a tertiary in the Third Order. After three years of seclusion, she became very active in the community serving the sick and the prisoners. During her lifetime, Cathering was known to have been blessed with the ability to expel demons, healing the sick, levitating during prayer, having visions of Our Lord and the Blessed Mother, sharing in sufferings of Christ with the stigmata, and having received a gift from Our Lord. The stigmata was visible only to her during her lifetime, but after her death, was visible to all. The gift she received from Our Lord, that only she could see, was a gold ring with four precious stones surrounding a diamond, signifying a spiritual marriage. Catherine was instrumental in convincing Gregory XI to return the Papacy from Avignon to Rome. In 1970, Catherine was only the 2nd woman in the history of the Church to be declared a Doctor of the Church. [Sourced:  St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church of Picayune, MS]

In 1374 St Catherine was investigated for possible heresy but passed the test and began to travel widely across Italy promoting peace and 'the total love for God'

Image Credit: Dunno

In letters written about 1366, Catherine wrote that she was in a “mystical marriage” with Jesus, who then encouraged her to take a more visible role in society, after which she devoted her life to helping the sick and poor.

In 1374 she was investigated for possible heresy but passed the test and began to travel widely across Italy promoting peace and “the total love for God”.

She began to eat less and fast more regularly but took Holy Communion almost daily. In fact, it seems she might have suffered from an illness like bulimia as she told her confessor that, when she ate, she often vomited soon afterwards.

Hundreds of her letters survive and they are considered a classical work of early Italian literature.

She died, aged just 33, in spring 1380 in Rome.

Get Your Saint On

Drawn by Love – The Mysticism of Catherine of Siena

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2 comments

  1. Have you ever read that book called “Holy Anorexia”? Its premise is that the meaning of anorexia is socially determined. Today we characterize it as a disease, a mental illness or an addiction. In medieval times, it was considered a sign of holiness and many spiritual people cultivated it. Mainly women but men too. St. Francis of Assisi is also thought to have been anorexic or perhaps bulimic.


  2. No I haven’t read the book, however I first heard the term ‘Holy anorexic’ used by Caroline Myss in reference to these mystics. Ironically, Myss has always stated that vegetarianism is just a dietary choice; not a barometer of one’s spirituality. I have long perceived anorexia/bulimia has a rather insidious method of controlling the people around you into expressing concern for your welfare. Nothing holy in that.



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