Saint Catherine of Siena and Her Times




The wars killed thousands. They split Christendom and spawned anti-Popes who joined the rebel alliance, brazenly challenging the authority of God’s Vicar on earth. Into this corrupt, brutal, turbulent world, God sent Catherine, the retiring daughter of a Sienese cloth dyer. Now famed as the great St. Catherine of Siena, this woman singlehandedly changed the course of history. Saint Catherine of Siena and Her Times tells her story. Young Catherine’s call to live a cloistered life of prayer was frustrated not only by the social needs of her day (caring for those suffering from poverty and the plague) but also by the explicit orders of the Pope. Hearing of her famous powers of reconciliation of enemies, he insisted that she mediate between the warring parties, sometimes at the risk of her life. Always clever but never partisan, Catherine used her access to the Pope to nag him – that’s not too strong a word – to clean up the corruption that permeated the Church in those days. Too, she demanded that he return from the safety of exile in France to his proper but now dangerous place in Rome, where the blood of martyrs had consecrated the soil. From letters Catherine sent to popes and politicians and to cardinals and kings, as well as from vivid written accounts of many friends of Catherine, author Margaret Roberts has now crafted the moving tale of this holy 14th century woman who rivaled in stature and influence the storied prophets of the Old Testament – and whose life serves as a noble example for Christians in our day. In these fascinating pages, you’ll encounter Catherine, • The modest young girl torn from her beloved cloistered life, and forced tosustain her habits of continual prayer in the courts of dangerous kings and murderous queens, whose fearsome will she was required by the Pope to challenge. • The passionate, plain-spoken saint who, while sternly rebuking the high and the mighty, remained gravely conscious of her own failings and the need for love to triumph over all. • The brave soul who repulsed with quiet words a bloodthirsty mob that rushed in to murder her. • The simple Christian, who repeatedly confounded expert interrogators, who sought by trickery to convict her of heresy and burn her at the stake. For Christians, our times are rough. And they’re likely to get rougher as secularism poisons ever more aspects of our society. Don’t let discouragement overtake you or conflicting demands stymie you. Instead, turn for inspiration to the moving story of St. Catherine of Siena, one of the greatest political figures of the 14th century . . . and one of the greatest saints of all times. Saint Catherine of Siena and Her Times Saint Catherine was one of the greatest political figures of the 14th century.


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