St. Catherine of Siena ready to frame print
St. Catherine of Siena was among the greatest of medieval saints. Catherine and her twin sister Giovanna were the 23rd and 24th children born to her mother. She was born in 1347, and although Giovanna died soon after, Catherine thrived. She was from an early age determined to live a life devoted to God. When her mother told her to pay more attention to her appearance in order to attract a husband, Catherine responded by cutting off all her hair.
At the age of twenty-one, Catherine experienced what she described as a mystical marriage to Jesus. She considered her life completely devoted to the Church from that time, and devoted her time and her wealth to helping the poor and the sick. She regularly engaged in strict fasting and she received the Eucharist daily, which was extremely unusual at that time.
Catherine was a prolific writer, both on spiritual topics and of letters to important figures of the day. This was the time during which the popes had left Rome for the French city of Avignon, which had resulted in a crisis within the Church called the Great Schism of the West, in which multiple men backed by different kings claimed the papacy. Catherine was influential in persuading Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome from Avignon, and also in persuading other rulers to recognize the true pope. The pope even sent her on a diplomatic mission to negotiate a peace with Florence.
Catherine died in Rome at the age of thirty-three, in 1380, eight days after suffering a massive stroke. Her last words were, “Father, into Your Hands I commend my spirit.”
In this icon, Saint Catherine is shown holding the crucifix in her right hand and the scriptures in her left. Also in her left hand are three lilies, symbols of purity. In her halo is imprinted the image of the crown of thorns, symbolizing a vision she had five years before her death in which Christ offered her a golden crown, symbolizing earthly riches, or a crown of thorns, symbolizing the glory of heaven through suffering in this life.
She is also shown with the stigmata, the wounds in hands and feet which Christ received from the cross, which she received in a mystical vision five years before her death. AMDG!
Ready to frame print. Professionally printed and ready to frame for your church or home.
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