In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all, because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of his beloved spouse, the Church. Father, honour her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life and a beacon of light to the harbour of your love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen (Mention your request here…) Saint Catherine of Siena, pray for us.
Early Years and ascetic tradition:
Catherine was born in 1347, just four years after Julian of Norwich. She was the twenty-third child out of 25. (Her twin sister died at birth). Her parents were Giacomo di Benincasa, a cloth-dyer, and his wife, Lapa Piagenti, daughter of a local poet. Their large, three-storied home was situated next to the dye works.
A native of Siena, Catherine received no formal education. At the age of six, she had a vision of Christ wearing the papal tiara. At seven, she consecrated her virginity to Christ despite her family’s opposition; in her eighteenth year, she took the habit of a Dominican tertiary. The Church and cloister of Saint Dominic were up the hill from her family home. Her brother-in-law’s brother, Tomaso della Fonte, had earlier joined the Dominicans, and he became her first confessor. Wars raged everywhere, between nations, city-states, and even within the papacy itself. The plague also ravaged the area. These were extreme times, stimulating extreme devotion to God.
Catherine’s frustrated parents tried to marry her against her wishes. She responded by cutting off all her hair, which infuriated her parents. To discipline her, they made her the servant of the house, responsible for all the chores. She was showered with insults and humiliation, but she rejoiced at being able to serve her family as if they were the “Holy family” of God. One day while turning the spit of the fire, she reportedly fell into ecstasy and rolled in the ashes, yet she revived unharmed.
Still frustrated with her unwillingness to accept marriage, her parents did not allow her a refuge for prayer. She turned inward and created her own sanctuary in her mind. The power struggle with her parents finally ended when her father, upon entering her room, saw a white dove above Catherine while she prayed. After this, she was allowed to have her own room for seclusion and prayer and the freedom to offer alms to the poor, much to the chagrin of her siblings, who locked their doors to avoid the loss of their valuables. Her father, however, forbade anyone to interfere with her vocation.
Catherine now wore a habit and white veil, which showed her to be a mantellata, a daughter of Saint Dominic. She chose to become a tertiary, a member of the Sisters of Penance, mostly widows, who lived in their own homes. A bout with chickenpox left scars on her face which she actually welcomed, for her former beauty no longer inspired the idea of marriage in others. She lived at her own home rather than in a convent, practising acts of determined mortification. She wore a tight metal chain around her waist and carried on vigils and fasting. Her zealous use of “the discipline”—a leather thong used to flagellate oneself in the monastic tradition—caused much pain. She reportedly lived for long periods of time on nothing but the Eucharist. As she turned sincerely inward, her contemplative life opened up to powerful visions.
She prayed in her room for over three years and discovered that the foundation for knowing God came from the principle: “Know that you are she who is not, and I am He who is.”
(Silent Reflection & Personal Prayer)
PRAYER TO SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA
(Patron Saint of Fire Prevention, Bodily Ills, Illness, Miscarriages, etc.)
O marvellous gem of the Church, Seraphic Virgin, Saint Catherine, by your extraordinary virtue and the good you achieved for the Church and society, you are acclaimed and blessed by the whole world. O turn your generous countenance towards me who, confident in your powerful patronage, calls you with all the ardour and affection I have, supplicating that you obtain, through your prayers, the favours that I so ardently desire (state here what you desire or need). You were a victim of charity so that, to benefit your neighbour you obtained from God the most astonishing miracles, becoming the joy and hope of all; you cannot cease to help, listening to the prayers of those who clamour to your heart – the heart that you received from the Divine Redeemer in celestial ecstasy. Yes, O Seraphic Virgin, demonstrate once more the proof of your power and of your resplendent charity, so that your name may always be most blessed and exalted. Grant us that, having experienced your most efficacious intercession here on earth, we may be able to one day give you our thanks in heaven, and enjoy with you eternal joy. Amen
LITANY OF ST. CATHERINE OF SIENNA
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us. (repeat after each line)
St. Dominic, glorious Patriarch,
St. Catherine of Siena,
Benevolent mother of the poor,
Merciful mother of the sick,
Refuge of the sorrowful,
Intercessor for sinners,
Rose of patience,
Model of humility,
Lily of chastity,
Vessel of graces,
Zealous promoter of the honour of God,
Lustre of holiness,
Example of mildness,
Glory of the Order of Preachers,
Fruitful mother of spiritual children,
Promoter of peace,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Follower of Jesus,
St. Catherine, who did give the blossoms of your innocent youth to the service of your Heavenly Spouse,
St. Catherine, whom Jesus Himself did feed with His Body and Blood,
St. Catherine, who exchanged her heart with the Heart of Jesus,
St. Catherine, who was blest with His Holy Wounds,
St. Catherine, who was taken to Heaven to the celestial nuptials,
St. Catherine, who did receive a hundredfold, reward for all her labours and merits,
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O glorious Virgin, St. Catherine, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray, O God, who gave St. Catherine, graced with the special privilege of virginity, patience to overcome the assault of evil spirits and to stand unshaken in the love of your Name. Grant, we beseech you, that after her example treading under foot the wickedness of the world and overcoming the wiles of all enemies, we may safely pass onward to your glory. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary (X10), Glory be…
Through the intercession of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, may the Lord bless + us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Compiled from various sources by Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?