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Patron Saint of Fire Prevention and Italy

She had the Holy Heebie-jeebies from the early age of five when she had her first vision. At seven she decided to become a hermit but heavenly voices deterred her.

After various rejections and mortifications she became a Daughter of Penance in the Dominican Order of Preachers after yet another vision. She had a spiritual advisor and did not have to enter a convent.

This was not enough. One Shrove Tuesday 1366 she had a vision in which she was betrothed to Christ himself and had a ring given her to prove it. Also as witnesses were her mother, Saints JOHN, PAUL and DOMINIC and King David even if they didn't sign anything.

After this she went in for Catatonic trances and an invisible stigmata to avoid undue publicity although her intrigues into Catholic politics, self-mortification and fending off demons were already the talk of the town. In a time of plague, drinking a cup of pus from the cancerous breast of a patient seems to be in the realms of not very tasteful exhibitionism.

She supported Pope Urban VI whom she regarded as Christ-on-Earth (not the one she was married to of course), and she was invited to Rome. She regarded his eventual replacement as the Antichrist.

Even in death her grisly morbidity prevailed. Her lifelong invisible stigmata finally appeared in all its glory. Then she was buried in Rome — but her head was removed to Siena where it may still be on view.

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Article last updated on 15 April 2009
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on St Catherine-of-siena is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

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Location : Worldwide Christianity
Gender : Female
Type : Saint or Sage
Celebration or Feast Day : April 29th
Birth and Death Dates : 1347-1380
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : None known
Popularity index : 179

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