Catherine of Siena, Catherine of Siena poetry, Christian, Christian poetry, Catholic poetry,  poetry,  poetry Catherine of Siena
Italy (1347 - 1380) Timeline
Christian : Catholic

Poems by Catherine of Siena
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Catherine was the 25th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy. Intensely devout, even as a young child, she started having mystical experiences when she was only 6.

When Catherine was a teenager, her mother was overly concerned with Catherine's looks in order to win the girl a husband. In protest, the young Catherine cut off her hair. Her father, however, respected Catherine's spiritual nature and gave her a room of her own for prayer and meditation.

She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, spending the next three years in seclusion, prayer, and austerity. During this time, Catherine continued to have visions of Christ, Mary, and the saints.

Word spread of her visions and devotion, and soon a group of followers gathered around her -- both women and men, including priests.

Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, gradually became more political. She saw how games of power added to the suffering in the world and increasingly fragmented the Catholic Church. Saints, then as now, were expected to remain aloof from worldly affairs and to not meddle in politics. Because of Catherine's outspoken political views she was accused of unorthodoxy, though she was eventually cleared of all charges.

In 1378, a political upheaval began, splitting the Catholic Church between two, then three, popes. Catherine died while attempting to reconcile the various factions and bring the pope from Avignon back to Rome.

Five years before her death, Catherine received the Stigmata.

Although she never had much formal education, Catherine became one of the most respected theologians of her day, as well as a powerful political force.

Catherine's letters and her "Dialog" are considered among the most brilliant writings in the Catholic Church.

Poems by Catherine of Siena

Recommended Books: Catherine of Siena

Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women For Lovers of God Everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West Catherine of Siena - Passion for the Truth, Compassion for Humanity: Selected Spiritual Writings Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue: (Classics of Western Spirituality)
Catherine of Siena : (Outstanding Christian Thinkers) A Life of Total Prayer: Selected Writings of Catherine of Siena Little Talks with God: (Christian Classics) Speaking with Authority: Catherine of Siena and the Voices of Women Today My Nature is Fire: Saint Catherine of Siena
The Prayers of Catherine of Siena Things Visible and Invisible: Images in the Spirituality of St. Catherine of Siena

Related Links

Christian Classics Etherial Library: St. Catherine of Siena

The Dialogs of Catherine of Siena in PDF format. Some links to articles about her, as well.
Catherine of Siena