St. Catherine of Siena: She knew how…
In November 2016, the St. Josemaria Institute with Mater Dei Tours will be hosting our first pilgrimage to Italy. Among the many sites we will visit is the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. The church contains the remains of St. Catherine of Siena and was a place visited by St. Josemaria with special devotion.
As we celebrate her feast day (April 29th), we reprint with permission an excerpt from “The Pantheon and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva” from the guide Visit Rome, Following the Footsteps of St. Josemaria:
St Josemaría had great devotion to St Catherine of Siena ever since he was young. For instance, in her honor he gave the name catalinas, “catherines”, to the notebooks in which he wrote personal notes about matters of his soul.
Years later, when the Church was going through difficulties, St Josemaría again had recourse to St Catherine, since she had been a passionate defender of the truth in somewhat similar circumstances. He wrote, “I’ve stoked up the devotion, which in me goes back a long time, to Saint Catherine of Siena – because she knew how to love the Pope with filial love, because she knew how to serve God’s holy Church sacrificially, and because she knew how to speak out heroically.”
All Christians need to be able to speak out, to explain the marvels of God in lively and convincing ways – the reality of the Church, the incomparable beauty of Christian life, which provides the answers to the deepest aspirations of the human heart. And so, like the Christian faithful of the early centuries, we will transform this world of ours. We will make it possible for more and more people to embrace the truth and proclaim it in their turn, to bring others to share in the freedom of the children of God, which leads to the good of human society and international relations.
“Ignorance,” the founder of Opus Dei often said, “is the greatest enemy of our faith, and at the same time the greatest obstacle to carrying out the redemption of souls.” He also said, “We must spread the truth, because veritas liberabit vos (Jn 8:32), the truth makes us free, while ignorance enslaves. We have to uphold the right of all men to live, to own what is necessary to lead a dignified existence, to work and to rest, to choose a particular state in life, to form a home, to bring children into the world within marriage and to be allowed to educate them, to pass peacefully through times of sickness and old age, to have access to culture, to join with other citizens to achieve legitimate ends, and, above all, the right to know and love God in perfect liberty, for conscience, true conscience, will discover the imprint of the Creator in all things.”
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