Today, we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor.
Catherine, the youngest of twenty-five children, was born in Siena on March 25, 1347. She grew up there and wanted very soon to devote herself to God, against the will of her parents. She joined the Sisters of the Penance of St. Dominic and made her vows.
She accompanied the chaplain of the Dominicans to the pope in Avignon, as the ambassador of Florence, then at war against the pope. Her influence with Pope Gregory XI played a role in his decision to leave Avignon for Rome. She was then sent by him to negotiate peace with Florence. After Gregory XI's death and peace concluded, she returned to Siena. She dictated to secretaries her set of spiritual treatises The Dialogue of Divine Providence.
Her writings—and especially The Dialogue, her major work, mark theological thought. She is one of the most influential writers in Catholicism, to the point that she is one of only four women to be declared a doctor of the Church. This recognition by the Church consecrates the importance of her writings.
O God, who set Saint Catherine of Siena on fire with divine love in her contemplation of the Lord's Passion and her service or your Church, grant, through her intercession, that your people, participating in the mystery of Christ, may ever exult in the revelation of his glory.