April 29

     Today (April 29) is the feast day of St. Catherine of Siena. She was born in 1347 to Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa who were the parents of over 20 children; it is thought that Catherine was the youngest child. During her lifetime Catherine had mystical experiences, the first at age 6.

     During her lifetime, she wrote hundreds of letters to the pope, monarchs, and other powerful men, counseling them to make peace and to restore unity in the Church. Her most famous writing is the Dialogue, a book that details a conversation or dialogue between the soul and God [recording her mystical experiences].

     Catherine died on April 29, 1380 at the age of thirty-three in Rome. She had suffered a stroke eight days before her death. Catherine was canonized in 1461. In 1970 she was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI; she was the first woman and first lay-person to be named a Doctor of the Church.
             Quotes from St. Catherine:
"Do not be satisfied with little things, because God wants great things!"
"Merit consists in the virtue of love alone, flavored with the light of true
      discretion, without which the soul is worth nothing."
"All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus is the way."