30/4: Feast of St Catherine of Siena… 

Comment:

In the traditional calendar, the Feast of St Catherine of Siena falls on 30 April.  This great saint did not hesitate to rebuke popes for their negligence, famously calling on one to resign if he would not or could not do his duty to root out “bad priests who poison and rot that garden” (the Church).

Today, more than ever, we need to seek the intercession of St Catherine of Siena, for the contemporary popes, especially our current Pope, Francis. 

Share your favourite prayers, novenas, quotes, information about St Catherine,  to help us to learn more about this great saint and Doctor of the Church.  What does she teach us, that we can use for the betterment of the Church at this time of crisis? 

St Catherine of Siena, pray for us!   

37 responses

  1. I regret that until recently I was ignorant of this great saint’s life. I have learned that she received the grace of Mystical marital union with Our Lord, similar to Saint Teresa of Avila. Which other saints received this?

  2. N O T I C E . . .

    Our former Treasurer, Betty, suffering the effects of a severe stroke, which means she is confined to a wheelchair and has not fully recovered her power of speech, rang me this afternoon to let me know that her husband, Davy, passed away this morning.

    He has been living in a Home for some months now, after his diagnosis with dementia made it too difficult for him to remain at home with Betty. In his good health – relatively speaking for Davy had a serious heart condition – he would bring Betty to Mass in the Glasgow SSPX church, even after she was confined to a wheelchair. This was not easy – the Glasgow church can only be reached via a number of stone steps (and we are not talking two or three). Still, for as long as he was able to manage, Davy and their son managed to get Betty’s wheelchair up the steps and into Mass.

    Obviously, once he was diagnosed with Dementia, and therefore unable to drive, they were unable to get into Mass.

    Please pray for the repose of Davy’s soul, and for the spiritual comfort of Betty and their children – they are a very close family.

    May he rest in peace.

    • Editor

      I liked Davy and Betty a lot, he’ll be very sadly missed. I will certainly pray for the repose of his soul. He was a good, salt of the earth working class Catholic man, God rest him.

    • I admired the great effort made by Betty and her family in coming to Mass. Hopefully in the future SSPX will be able to acquire a new chapel in Glasgow with ramp or lift access for the many elderly and/or infirm parishioners. It is difficult to watch so many of them struggle up the stairs which were built at a time when little consideration was given to the disabled.

    • My prayers are with Betty and her family at this time, and may Davy’s soul rest in peace.

    • I’m praying for Davy’s soul, and my sympathy goes to Betty and family. May he rest in peace.

  3. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him: may he rest in peace. Amen.

  4. Thank you folks! I was so touched on reading your condolences that I rang Betty just now to read over everything from the thread so far.

    She was delighted. She was so touched. I promised I would pass on her gratitude to you all for your condolences and above all for your prayers for the repose of Davy’s soul.

    Frankier, you will appreciate the funny side of this… I read each message out to Betty and when I got to yours I did the same. Betty then said “Oh, that’s just lovely! … beautiful! To which I replied “Well, that’s just the prayer that we all say! Why should he get the credit!” She laughed heartily.

    Betty exhibits strong spiritual consolation and is at peace. Every time I visited her, since Davy entered the Home some months ago, she expressed huge sadness, she missed him a lot, and must have worried about him, due to the Dementia. Now, happily, she is at peace.

    So, thank you all again for your kind sympathy and prayers. Greatly appreciated.

    Oh and apologies to Saint Catherine of Siena – we’ve not forgotten you! We’ll get to you by Thursday (Feast Day) at the latest 😀

    • My sympathies to Betty on the death of her husband. Eternal memory!

      LifeSite News has a thread on St. Catherine of Siena now. Between you and them she ought to be better known.

    • RCA Victor,

      I will, indeed – Betty always remembers you with great affection from your visit over here, trips to Loch Lomond/Helensburgh, can’t remember which or was it both? Mind you, she wasn’t the one struggling to work out the population of Glasgow 😀

  5. I know they explain in the video that St Catherine of Siena was a laywoman, but they don’t explain why she wore the religious habit. I know third order members are allowed to wear the habit, but who does that? Why, what’s the point. I thought the whole point of being a third order member was because you can’t be a member of the order, as a religious, but this was a way of spiritually being a member of that order. I don’t see the point of wearing the habit if you are a worker in the world. I know they don’t need to and probably most don’t but there may be some who do and I think that would be very confusing. I wouldn’t want to be working alongside someone in my office who was a laywoman but dressed like a nun! It is difficult to understand.

    I know that the great Saint Catherine would be an exceptional soul and would have good reasons to wear it at that time, but I think in our modern world it would really confuse people.

    She’s one of my favourite saints, so this is not meant as a criticism, just making the point.

    • Josephine,

      It’s not that Third Order members have to wear the habit – they are permitted to wear it, that is all. I’ve heard of people being dressed in the habit for burial but I’ve never met anyone who wore it to work, LOL! That would cause a stir, especially if they’d be working there prior to becoming a member. I’m not sure if there is some ceremonial occasion when it is worn, but I do know that it’s not something anyone has to do.

      I admire St Catherine of Siena because she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind even to popes. If she was doing that today, she’d be called an upstart and arrogant, LOL!

  6. I was speaking with my spiritual director on the telephone yesterday. He is a priest, medieval historian, and spiritual theologian. We were discussing theology of vocation and he explained how the theology of the lay vocation is very ancient and was widely understood and practiced in medieval Christendom. This held even after Trent. It was rather in the 19th century that the novel idea was developed that supposed only those who have taken formal vows have a vocation in the true theological sense, i.e. monastics, religious, priests.

    How un-Catholic is the view that the layman’s role in the Church is to pay, pray, and obey, as if all we were expected to do is turn up on Sundays to Mass and pray in our bedrooms during the week. Not so… Regardless of our state, we are all called to the apostolic life. Some traditional priests are unfortunately still unable to comprehend this.

    There needs to be more active lay apostolate in SSPX communities. I understand it is difficult because people travel long distances to get to SSPX Mass centres. But SSPX clergy should at least act and speak as if the the lay apostolate is important. In the Legion of Mary, even long before Vatican II, the spiritual director did not lead the meetings or take part in the active works. The laity did this under the guidance and supervision of the spiritual director, a priest. Whereas I knew one priest who gave the impression that he should lead the meetings, the laity remain quiet, and that he should even lead the active works.

    Clericalism is really the idea of the control-freak cleric. It’s not Traditional Catholicism. Serendipitously, this feast today preludes beautifully tomorrows feast… Saint Joseph the Worker, magnificent patron of the laity.

    • Miles Immaculatae,

      A beautiful and insightful comment from you. Well said.

      I was speechless reading about the priest you describe who thought he should lead the Legion of Mary meetings etc. Unbelievable.

      Anyway, today’s saint is perfect proof of the truth you speak about the importance of the lay vocation. As Cardinal Newman once said to a clericalist who was belittling the laity, “the Church would look foolish without them!”

      So, well said – and a very happy Feast to you!

      • RCA Victor,

        I’m personally not interested in Third Order membership but I looked up the one for the SSPX in GB
        https://fsspx.uk/en/sspx-third-order-rule

        I must say I was taken aback at this, the first thing on the list for “obligations of the married”

        “:To observe, in a spirit of submission to Our Lord, the laws of marriage toward the goal of having a large family.”

        I’ve always understood that the obligation was “to accept children lovingly from God” – i.e. not to put an impediment, e.g. contraceptives etc in the way of having children. But it’s never been a “goal” of marriage, to my knowledge, for a couple to have a large family.

        I can understand people wanting a large family and that is great, but I’ve never been told by any priest (including prior to Vatican II) that it was an obligation.

        Can you clarify this?

        • Lily,

          That is very interesting. I’ve never heard it taught that Catholics have to have large families – that’s not the case at all, and I am surprised to see it on any Catholic website run by priests. I can only imagine that this is a requirement for Third Order SSPX members only and that’s fine, as long as both spouses agree.

          I was so surprised at reading that page that I tried to find out more about the teaching of the Church, which I’ve always just thought was to accept children from God, as you said, not to use contraceptives, so I was interested to find this link, which makes sense IMHO
          https://aleteia.org/2015/08/10/catholic-myths-about-big-families/

        • Lily,

          In the interests of full disclosure, I am no longer a member of that Third Order, having left the SSPX almost 3 years ago. But actually, no, I can’t clarify it, since as you say it seems to be a law of marriage made up by the SSPX. (BTW, the link to the page you posted is actually identical to the one I posted – apparently it is a standard page throughout the Society).

          The next sentence in that paragraph, at least, rings true:

          “To renounce absolutely all positive action toward the goal of not having children.”

          Also, in the link posted by Fidelis about large families, Myth #2 (“Large families see their children as trophies in a way that others don’t.”) reminded me of a sermon my old SSPX Prior delivered about this, gently scolding some of his flock:

          ” Having children is not a competition!”

        • Lily,

          I need to clarify something from my previous post: having a large family is not a made-up “law” of marriage, as I first posted, but according to the SSPX it is a “goal” of said laws.

          Which is still a novelty….

          • RCA Victor,

            “Having children is not a competition!” LOL!

            I know what he means – it can seem that way in some traditional churches!

            What was driven home to me when I was learning about this topic, was that although nothing should be done to block a possible new life, you can’t use NFP like a “Catholic contraceptive” but you can abstain. The husband could find other ways of showing his love for his wife, for a while. I think it’s selfish of a husband who won’t do that – in fact, I’d say that is one way of working out the real Catholic men from the rest.

            I’m now wondering how we got to talking about this on the St Catherine of Siena thread, LOL!

            To make it worse, I forgot to wish everyone a happy feast day!

            Also, to say, I’ve always admired St Catherine of Siena for being one of the first female Doctors of the Church. You’d never think she’d make it given her blunt letters to some popes of her day! We could use a modern day St Catherine of Siena, because we’ve already got the pope who needs some blunt talking to, LOL!

            • Lily,

              Thread relevance, let’s see: Doctor…obstetrician…children…large families…voila!

              Speaking of blunt female Catholics, where’s Editor? 🙂

              • RCA Victor,

                I’m not sure how to take your closing question! Female, yes, Catholic (not as good as I should be) but “blunt”? Me?

                Seriously (!) I’ve been having computer issues for a few days now and just cannot explain how my old friend Outlook has suddenly gone on strike. So, I’m not sure how to get myself back to normal, so to speak (say nothing), there not being any computer geniuses able to cross my threshold – or, as the comical genius from the video below would say… unless you NEED a computer genius, in which case he/she MAY cross my threshold 😀

      • I was a postulant in the SSPX Third Order, but I have decided against making final promise. It’s more of a prayer apostolate, not so much an active apostolate, such as what the Legion of Mary was when it was still a Traditional Catholic group. I don’t feel that God is calling me to be a bedroom contemplative. I wish there was a community where single lay people could live together in common. Such communities exist in the Novus Ordo church (such as Opus Dei numeraries), but I am not aware of any Traditional ones. Saint Mary’s Kansas perhaps?

  7. Margaret Mary mentions that Saint Catherine of Siena wasn’t afraid to speak her mind even to popes.

    As the Fatima Centre is suggesting that people join in making the 54 Day Novena that the Pope and Bishops Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, beginning tomorrow May 1st 2020.

    https://fatima.org/news-views/let-us-end-this-chastisement-by-offering-a-54-day-rosary-novena/

    I would imagine that Saint Catherine would agree about this Consecration and the route taken to help obtain it.

      • Miles Immaculatae,

        Has anyone every told you that you are – unquestionably – a genius? 😀

        Actually, if you study the history of the Church – which few of us have done, my unworthy self included, but I still know this… at times of crisis, throughout the Church’s history, it has been the laity who have saved the day (so to speak).

        Somebody told me that once and I’ve never forgotten it. A priest. I couldn’t help thinking he just had to be right 😀

    • Theresa Rose,

      I’m glad David Rodriguez and The Fatima Center found each other: he is very dynamic (and so is Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea – even more so). I only wish Catholic Family News could find similar dynamic leadership. I came across a video the other day of Matt Gaspers and Brian McCall talking to each other about the latest crisis, and they were about as animated and interesting as a couple of raw potatoes. Very disappointing. I have to remember to dissociate the messenger(s) from the message….

    • Theresa Rose,

      I’m sure that’s a great idea – for everyone else! I’m not too good at making an ordinary 9 day novena. 54 days – I’m bound to slip up!

      However, you are correct about St Catherine of Siena – I’m sure she would be promoting the Fatima Center initiative, so I’m now consumed with guilt!

  8. This thread is now closed to comments – thank you to everyone who contributed to the conversation.

    St Catherine of Siena, pray for Holy Church…. St Catherine of Siena, pray for us!

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