Feast of Saint Catherine del Ricci
(1522 – 1590)
St. Catherine del Ricci was born with the name Alessandra in Florence, Italy, to a respectable merchant family. Her mother died while she was very young, so that from her childhood Alessandra took the Blessed Virgin Mary as her mother. She was given to prayer and religious fervor, and at the age of fourteen decided to enter a strict Third Order Dominican convent, taking Catherine as her religious name.
Catherine developed into a great mystic with an intense devotion to the Passion of Christ. For many years Catherine would go into ecstasy from noon every Thursday through 4pm on Friday, experiencing in a mystical manner the sufferings of Christ during his Passion. She was also given the spiritual gift of the stigmata; Christ’s wounds would appear on her body through the course of the ecstasy. After enduring much humiliation for years on account of these sufferings, she was eventually accepted as a holy woman and later became prioress.
St. Catherine’s advice was widely sought on many spiritual and practical matters. Despite being cloistered, she kept up a loving correspondence with many relatives, friends, and her spiritual children. Among those in her correspondence were three future popes, Pope Marcellus II, Pope Clement VIII, and Pope Leo XI.
Her feast day is February 13.
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For as you know, the things of God must always meet with opposition, especially when they clash with earthly plans … We do not forget to pray that all may be ordered by our Lord….”
Saint Catherine del Ricci
Gather up all your worries and make a bundle of them and throw them all into those most holy wounds of Jesus Christ. You could not put them anywhere better than in Jesus and his most holy Mother. They are the ones who are perfectly capable of consoling and calming the human heart.”
Saint Catherine del Ricci
Saint Catherine del Ricci, spiritual advisor to future popes, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.