MEMORIAL: APRIL 29
St. Catherine of Siena was born in the fourteenth century as the 25th child of her parents. While many of her siblings did not make it out of childhood (including her twin), Catherine survived and developed a strong faith life. She refused marriage and joined the Third Order of Dominicans. When she was 21, Catherine described a spiritual espousal to Christ which caused her to re-enter public life and care for the poor and sick.
She then called for reformation in the Church and was one of the main players in settling the dispute of the Avignon papacy (a time when three different men were claiming to be Pope) and other political disputes surrounding the Papal States. Catherine is also said to have received the stigmata, but it was not visible. After she died at the age of 33, St. Catherine was named a Doctor of the Church (one of four women to have this honor). She is the Patron Saint of Miscarriages.