Catherine of Sienna

Supernatural Powers of Catherine of Sienna

The Dialogue of St Catherine Of Siena        The Letters of Saint Catherine of Siena

We generally regard the fourteenth century as a dark era in our history. An era when the corruptions, injustices and ignorance of the Middle Ages were accumulating to monumental heights. The Black Death, had decimated half the population of Europe, and was still lingering like a horrendous scavenger on the flesh of Humanity.

It was also a period of a slow awakening into consciousness through the birth pains of the era.. Intellectual life was dormant, in the universities, and in the hearts and minds of man.

But the radiance of a seemingly Charming and brilliant woman of the Era, Catherine di Benincasa , known to us today as Catherine of Sienna. like a bright little star twinkling in the darkness, almost as if one of the last stars in the heavens.

Childhood of Catherine of Sienna

She was born into a family of 20+ children along with a Twin, whom died before walking, as a further accentuation of the period let me state that of the 20+ children born to her parents, only a handful reached Adulthood.

According to her first biographer A Raymond of Capua ..

" she always had the ability to charm others. She was slight and pale, her features delicate, the texture of her skin exquisite, and her hair long, thick, lustrous, and golden. She was animated, cheerful, friendly, sensitive, and charming. All her movements were swift and graceful."

Her family owned a farm in the countryside, about 20 miles from Sienna, where Catherine spent what time she could. She had a passion for flowers and wove them into crosses . She often dreamed that angels descended from Heaven and crowned her with white lilies.

"Whenever you think God has shown you other people's faults, take care: your own judgment may well be at fault. Say nothing. And if you do attribute any vice to another person, immediately and humbly look for it in yourself also. Should the other person really possess that vice, he will correct himself so much the better when he sees how gently you understand him, and he will say to himself whatever you would have told him." --Saint Catherine.

Her parents wanted her to marry and encouraged her to improve her appearance. At age 16, when a young man took interest in her , she told her mother she already had taken a vow of perpetual virginity when she was only seven. When her mother didn't take her seriously, she cut off her luxurious golden hair.


Throughout her Early life she had persistent dreams and visitations/visions , In one of these Dreams she encountered Saint Domenic, the founder of a Dominican Sisters order. He placed on her finger a gold ring with four pearls set in a circle in it, and a radiant diamond in the middle, saying to her, "receive this ring as a pledge and testimony that you are mine and will be mine for ever." No one else could see the ring but her, and it was always before her eyes.

She was a woman obsessed with her God, and the desire to improve the lot of Humanity.

In today's World we would label her insane, put her on medication, maybe some Prozac, a little lithium... or possibly even send her off to a Rehab. thinking she had already had too many Drugs under the table. A few decades ago they would have locked her in an asylum.

But wait it gets better .....

Her Mother, still insistent that she take a husband took her to a spa hoping to fatten her up in preparation for marriage. A week later they returned. Catherine had scalded and disfigured herself intentionally, and had intentionally subjected herself to and contracted smallpox - {so that she would no longer be attractive } During her illness she finally convinced her mother of her intense devotion to God, and with the help of her mother secured herself entry to the Dominican order to which she had been betrothed in her vision.

Visions, Visitations, Miracles

She had numerous and intense visions, at times seeing Jesus, Mary, Saint John the Evangelist, Saint Paul, and Saint Dominic, the founder of her order. During this vision, Mary introduced her to Jesus, He placed on her finger a gold ring with four pearls set in a circle in it and a wonderful diamond in the middle, saying to her, "receive this ring as a pledge and testimony that you are mine and will be mine for ever." No one else could see the ring but it was always before her eyes. So from Saint Domenic she received her engagement ring, and From Jesus Christ her Wedding Ring !

Reliable witnesses of her time reported seeing her levitating in mid-air when she was in intense prayer. On one occasion it is reported the priest who was about to give her communion he felt the Host become agitated and fly away, as if wrenched from his fingers into her mouth. Uri Geller could learn a few things from Saint Catherine.

A Mother Francis Raphael of her order relates how Catherine was immune to fire. She tells of an incident when Catherine fell face first into a fire during a religious ecstasy. The fire was fierce, but when Catherine was pulled out ,neither she nor her clothes were damaged in the least bit.

Word of the Miraculous nun spread , and In 1370, she heard a divine voice that commanded her to leave the cell and enter His service in the world . Thousands came to see her, to hear her, and to be converted by her. A mystical circle of members of religious orders, secular priests, and ordinary people grew around the cult of Catherine.

Teaching and Practice of Catherine of Sienna

The central theme of her teaching was that Man, whether in the state of seclusion or in the world, must live in self-knowledge, which is the stall in which the pilgrim must be reborn from time to eternity. The throng and hoards of the repenters that Catherine attracted was so was great and numerous that the three priests of her neighborhood, who had been provided by the pope to hear confessions were unable to handle the multitudes of humanity that St. Catherine attracted.


She possessed an unusual intellect, and could face off with the brightest and shrewdest people of her time. Her diplomatic skills were admirable.

She is credited with having made peace between several city-states torn by factional strife. She made peace between the pope and the city of Florence., and averted a War.

On June 18, 1376, Catherine arrived in Avignon as an unofficial Ambassador and and convinced the pope to return to Rome. Which brought an end to what has been termed the Babylonian captivity of the popes.

As war seemed imminent in the vicinity of Florence, the Pope sent her to try and quell the situation.

She remained there amid daily atrocities and murders, and otherwise nasty little people she was trying to save. At one point swords were drawn against her, and her death seemed a likelihood, but she never flinched. Eventually she returned -- Mission accomplished ! She established peace between Florence and the Vatican.

Psychic Abilities of Saint Catherine

Catherine dictated from memory The Dialogue before she left Siena forever. It is her account of her visions. She was clairaudient -- the power or faculty of hearing something not present to the ear but regarded as having objective reality . And she was clairvoyant -- the power or faculty of discerning objects not present to the senses and/or ability to perceive matters beyond the range of ordinary perception

She was illiterate but wanted to be able to read the breviary when suddenly she could , not taught by anyone in the traditional sense to read it , she wanted to read it -- so she read it, whether her cognizant mind understood the words and symbols or not -- she willed it to be , and it was !

Breviary = Middle English breviarie, from Medieval Latin breviarium, from Latin, summary,


She also had the gift of healing. But Much of what she did was met with ingratitude.

Other volunteers generally refused to work with the Lepers, as Leprosy was highly contagious and incurable at the time. As the proliferation of leper colonies will attest to.

When a plague broke out in Siena She gathered her friends, and , she led them boldly among those who had caught it-- sometimes even digging graves and burying the dead themselves.

She was a Saint, true but she was also Human and suffered urges , as we all do. A female patient suffering from cancer, to whom she had given tremendous care, but had been continuously cursed and verbally assaulted by poured out all the irritability and anger at Catherine, no doubt provoked by her hopeless condition, Catherine was her whipping Boy .

She remained incredibly patient and resilient . "O my Savior, my Lord," she cried, "why did You forsake me?" "My child," came the answer, "I have been with you through all. I was in your heart all the while.

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