St. Catherine of Siena’s Early Life
St. Catherine of Siena was born in renaissance Italy and is one of the most beloved and popular saints in the Church. She was one of 25 children (😳) born to her mother, though over half of those siblings did not survive, being that this was the time during the outbreak of the plague.
When she was 16 years old, one of her sister’s died and her parents decided that she should marry his widow. She dug in her heels and began fasting and even cut her hair and refused to take him in marriage. No matter her parent’s insisting, she refused and eventually they relented. St. Catherine of Siena then dedicated herself to serving her family.
Even though Catherine had a strong religious life, she did not enter a convent and instead she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, which allowed her to live at home while being part of a religious society. Catherine quietly worked from home giving away her family’s belongings to those in need.
Something changed her when she was 21. She described an experience she referred to as her “mystical marriage to Christ.” During this mystical experience, she was told to enter public life. She tirelessly worked to help the poor and needy, but eventually she was drawn further into the world to when she began to travel and spread the word of God. Eventually she got involved with Italian politics and was key in persuading the Pope in Avignon to return to Rome. She was instrumental in restoring the Papacy to Rome and in brokering peace deals during a time of conflict and war between the Italian city states.
She is credited with composing over 400 letters, her Dialogue, which is her definitive work, and her prayers. These works are so influential that St. Catherine would later be declared a Doctor of the Church.
Why a wedding ring?
Our St. Catherine of Siena medal features a simple wedding ring. 💍
At the age of 21, Catherine described an experience she referred to as her “mystical marriage to Christ.” There are debates over whether or not she was actually given a ring, some even claimed that it was adorned with jewels. Regardless, Catherine lived a life of total devotion to Jesus, her beloved, signified by the ring.
You can learn more about St. Catherine of Siena right here.
St. Catherine of Siena is a friend to:
- Single women
- Big families (St. Catherine will definitely “get” you)!
- Activists fighting homelessness
- Politicians (we know, sometimes it’s hard to believe a saint would be friends with politician)
- Those frustrated with the state of the church
“Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills.” St. Catherine knew that it’s easy to hide in your home and know the truth, but that’s not what God wants us to do. Go out…spread His word, don’t be afraid to use your voice!
Ready to go deeper with St. Catherine? Our shop has a whole section devoted to her.