Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24: Saint Catherine of Genoa

Going to confession one day was the turning point of Catherine’s life.

Catherine was born at a time when nobles were supporting Renaissance artists, often panning the needs of the poor and sick.

Catherine’s parents were members of the nobility in Genoa.

At 13 she attempted to become a nun but failed because of her age.

At 16 she married "Julian" (
Giuliano Adorno), a nobleman who turned out to be selfish and unfaithful. For a while she tried to numb her disappointment by a life of selfish pleasure.
     - Their marriage was probably a ploy to end the feud between their two families.
     - "...ten years after her marriage, she prayed "that for three months He (God) may keep me (Catherine) sick in bed" so that she might escape her marriage, but her prayer went unanswered."

One day in confession she had a new sense of her own sins and how much God loved her. She reformed her life and gave good example to Julian, who soon turned from his self-centered life of distraction.

Julian’s spending, however, had ruined them financially. He and Catherine decided to live in the Pammatone, a large hospital in Genoa, and to dedicate themselves to works of charity there.

After Julian’s death in 1497, Catherine took over management of the hospital.
She wrote about purgatory which, she said, begins on earth for souls open to God. Life with God in heaven is a continuation and perfection of the life with God begun on earth.

Exhausted by her life of self-sacrifice, she died September 15, 1510, and was canonized in 1737.'s entry on St. Catherine

The ever-accurate Wikipedia