Skip to content

St. Catherine of Bologna

The #1 Catholic Online School
FREE Catholic Classes

Short Cuts

Author and Publisher - Catholic Online

Image of St. Catherine of Bologna

Facts

Feastday: March 9
Patron of Artists, liberal arts, against temptations and Bologna
Birth: September 8, 1413
Death: March 9, 1463
Beatified By: 1524
Canonized By: May 22, 1712

St. Catherine of Bologna was an Italian nun and artist born as Catherine de' Vigri on September 8, 1413 in Bologna, Italy.

She was the member of an aristocratic family and the daughter of a diplomat to the Marquis of Ferrara. Catherine received a wonderful education in reading, writing, singing and drawing while being raised at the court of the Duke of Ferrara. Catherine excelled in painting, Latin and the viola.

When the daughter eventually married, she wanted Catherine to remain in her service, but Catherine, feeling a calling to the religious life, left the court.

In 1426, at 13-years-old, she entered the convent of Corpus Domini at Ferrara and became a Franciscan Tertiary.

During this time, her convent disagreed in whether to continue following the Augustinian rule or to instead adhere to the Franciscan rule. A Rule is a specific expression of the Christian life which calls the men or women of a particular religious order to a daily pattern of prayer, work and charity.

Catherine was determined to live a life of perfection, and was admired by her companions for her holiness.

In 1432, Catherine and other young women of Ferrara founded a monastery of the Order of Poor Clares, an order founded by St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.

Catherine was openly willing to serve the more humble roles in the convent. She was a laundress, a baker and a caretaker for the animals.

Through her efforts with Pope Nicholas V, the Poor Clare convent at Ferrara erected an enclosure, and Catherine was appointed Superioress. That office made her responsible for providing pastoral care and spiritual oversight to all of sisters. The reputation of the Community for its holiness and austerity became widespread.

In 1456, Catherine returned to Bologna with her superiors and the governors there requested she found a second monastery of the same Order and be the Abbess of the convent.

Catherine continued to paint and to write beautiful spiritual guides and poetry. She wrote the Treatise on the 7 Spiritual Weapons Necessary for Spiritual Warfare. And, her painting of St. Ursula remains on display in a Venice gallery.

Throughout her life, Catherine experienced visions of both Jesus Christ and Satan, which she documented in her treatise. In one instance, she had the baby Jesus placed in her arms by the Blessed Virgin Mary.

During the Lenten season of 1463, Catherine became seriously ill, and on March 9th she passed away.

She was buried without a coffin and her body was exhumed eighteen days later because of many cures attributed to her at her graveside and the sweet scent coming from her grave. Her body was discovered incorrupt and remains so today. That means it has not decayed. Catherine is dressed in her religious habit seated upright on a golden throne behind glass in the chapel of the Poor Clares in Bologna.

Her skin has since been blackened due to exposure from oil lamps and soot.

Saint Catherine was beatified in 1524 by Pope Clement VII and canonized on May 22, 1712 by Pope Clement XI. She is the patron saint of artists, the liberal arts, against temptations and of Bologna.

Her feast day is celebrated on March 9.

St. Catherine's piety, charity, and kindness attracted many to follow her along the road to Christian perfection. The beauty of her life and death encourages us to live in perfect charity as a Lenten goal.

Pope Benedict described this humble saint as, "From the distance of so many centuries she is still very modern and speaks to our lives. She, like us, suffered temptations, she suffered the temptations of disbelief, of sensuality, of a difficult spiritual struggle. She felt forsaken by God, she found herself in the darkness of faith. Yet in all these situations she was always holding the Lord's hand, she did not leave him, she did not abandon him. And walking hand in hand with the Lord, she walked on the right path and found the way of light."


St. Catherine of Bologna Comments


More Saints






Browse Saints by Category






Saint of the Day

Image of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini was born as Maria Francesca Cabrini on July 15, 1850 in Sant' Angelo Lodigiano, Lombardy, Italy. She was born two months premature and the youngest of thirteen children. ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day
November 2018
S M T W T F S
123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Required


Female Saints

Image of St. Angela Merici

St. Angela Merici

St. Angela Merici was an Italian religious educator and founder of the Ursulines whose deep prayer life and relationship with the Lord bore the fruit of mystical encounters with God. She was born on March 21, 1474 in Desenzano, a small town on the shore of Lake Garda ... continue reading

More Female Saints



Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts

Angels

Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading


Image of St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel is an angel who serves as a messenger for God to certain people. He is one of the three archangels. Gabriel is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. First, in the Old Testament, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his ... continue reading



Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for St. Ignatius of Antioch

St. Ignatius of Antioch

"I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire." In 107, during the reign of the brutal Emperor Trajan, this holy Bishop was ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for St. Ignatius of Laconi

St. Ignatius of Laconi

Ignatius was the son of a poor farmer in Laconi, Italy. He was born on December 17, 1701. When he was about seventeen, he became very ill. He promised to be a Franciscan if he would get better. But when the illness left him, his father convinced him to wait. A couple ... continue reading



Christian Saints & Heroes

Image of

Hoy es fiesta de San Alfredo, rey que defendio a su pueblo de los vikingos

By (CNA/EWTN)

San Alfredo fue rey de Wessex, uno de los siete reinos principales que precedieron al reino de Inglaterra. Se hizo celebre por defender su territorio contra los vikingos (normandos), por lo que fue llamado "El Grande" por su pueblo. REDACCIoN CENTRAL (ACI Prensa) - Su ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.