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.
Catherine exchanges her heart with that of Jesus
Once, when she was praying to the Lord with the utmost fervour, saying to Him as the Prophet had done, “Create a clean heart within me, O God, and renew a right spirit within my bowels,” and asking Him again and again to take her own heart and will from her, He comforted her with this vision. It appeared to her that her Heavenly Bridegroom came to her as usual, opened her left side, took out her heart, and then went away. This vision was so effective and agreed so well with what she felt inside herself that in confession she told her confessor that she no longer had a heart in her breast. He shook his head a little at this way of putting it, and in a joking way reproved her; but she repeated it and insisted that she meant what she said. “Truly, Father,” she said, “in so far as I feel anything at all, it seems to me that my heart has been taken away altogether. The Lord did indeed appear to me, opened my left side, took my heart out and went away.” Her confessor then pointed out that it is impossible to live without a heart, but the virgin replied that nothing is impossible to God, and that she was convinced that she no longer had a heart. And for some time she went on repeating this, that she was living without a heart.
One day she was in the church of the Preaching Friars, which the Sisters of Penance of St. Dominic in Siena used to attend. The others had gone out, but she went on praying. Finally she came out of her ecstasy and got up to go home. All at once a light from heaven encircled her, and in the light appeared the Lord, holding in His holy hands a human heart, bright red and shining. At the appearance of the Author of Light she had fallen to the ground, trembling all over, but He came up to her, opened her left side once again and put the heart He was holding in His hands inside her, saying, “Dearest daughter, as I took your heart away from you the other day, now, you see, I am giving you mine, so that you can go on living with it for ever.” With these words He closed the opening He had made in her side, and as a sign of the miracle a scar remained on that part of her flesh, as I and others were told by her companions who saw it. When I determined to get to the truth, she herself was obliged to confess to me that this was so, and she added that never afterwards had she been able to say, “Lord, I give you my heart.
After the reception of this heart, then, in such a gracious and marvellous way, from the abundance of its graces poured forth Catherine’s great works and her most marvellous revelations. In point of fact she never approached the sacred altar without being shown many things beyond the range of the senses, especially when she received Holy Communion. She often saw a baby hidden in the hands of the priest; sometimes it was a slightly older boy; or again, she might see a burning fiery furnace, into which the priest seemed to enter at the moment when he consumed the sacred Species. When she herself received the most adorable Sacrament, she would often smell such a strong sweet smell that she almost fainted. Seeing or receiving the Sacrament of the Altar always generated fresh and indescribable bliss in her soul, so that her heart would very often throb with joy within her breast, making such a loud noise that it could be heard even by her companions. At last, having noticed this so often, they told her confessor Fra Tommaso about it. He made a close inquiry into the matter and on finding it was true left the fact in writing as an imperishable record.
This noise bore no resemblance to the gurgling that goes on naturally in the human stomach; there was nothing natural about the noise at all. There is nothing surprising in the fact that a heart given in a supernatural way should act in a supernatural way too, for, as the Prophet says, “My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the Living God,” that is to say, “They have jumped out, into the Living God.” The Prophet says,”the living God”, to signify that this special beating or heart action, being caused by the true Life, does not bring death to the person to whom it happens as it would in the ordinary course of nature, but Life.
After the miraculous exchange of hearts the virgin felt a different person, and she said to her confessor Fra Tommaso, “Can’t you see, Father, that I am not the person I was, but am changed into someone else? … If only you could understand how I feel, Father! I don’t believe that anyone who really knew how I feel inside could be obstinate enough not to be softened or be proud enough not to humble himself – for all that I reveal is nothing compared to what I feel.” She described what she was experiencing, saying, “My mind is so full of joy and happiness that I am amazed my soul stays in my body.…There is so much heat in my soul that this material fire seems cool by comparison, rather than to be giving out heat; it seems to have gone out, rather than to be still burning.…This heat has generated in my mind a renewal of purity and humility, so that I seem to have gone back to the age of four or five. And at the same time so much love of my fellow-men has blazed up in me that I could face death for them cheerfully and with great joy in my heart.”
It got to the point that Catherine pleaded with Christ to take back His heart because the heart was so full of love, mercy and goodness that she could not accommodate it any longer, to love everybody as Jesus loves.
(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?