Doctor of the Church (1347 – 1380)
Doctor of the Church (1347 – 1380)
Caterina di Giacomo di Benincasa was born on the feast of the Annunciation, March 25th, 1347, in the Fontebranda district of Siena, Italy, the twenty-fourth of twenty-five children. Her father was a dyer and her mother was the daughter of a local poet. Catherine was known as an imaginative, idealistic, and outgoing child who was fiercely independent. She began to have personal revelations early in her childhood. Catherine consecrated her virginity to Christ at the age of seven and began wearing the Dominican Tertiary’s habit at the age of sixteen, taking the Vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. She took care of the sick, especially those with the most repulsive diseases, served the poor, and dedicated her life to the conversion of sinners. She lived in a century when chaos ruled the Church and society. Early on, her passion to know the truth took precedence over every other pursuit in her life. Her profound love of God and the clarity with which she expressed this love transformed the society around her and the wider culture in a very practical way. St. Catherine died in Rome, in 1380, at the age of thirty-three.
St. Catherine of Siena was canonized by Pope Pius II in 1461, and named Patron Saint of Italy on May 5, 1940 by Pope Pius XII. She was given the title of Doctor of the Church in 1970 by Pope Paul VI. She is simultaneously the Patron Saint of Siena, the Patron Saint of Italy, and the Patron Saint of Europe, as proclaimed by St. John Paul II in October 1999. Today, the body of St. Catherine is in a tomb in the Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, and her head is enshrined, incorrupt, in San Domenico Church in Siena, Italy.
St. Catherine of Siena is one of only four female “Doctors” of the Roman Catholic Church (St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Hildegard of Bingen are the other three). She is known as the Doctor of Unity for bringing about the union of the Papacy and returning it to Rome after nearly a century in France. St. Catherine dictated, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, four treatises called “The Dialogues.” She also wrote nearly four hundred letters and a series of prayers.
St. Catherine’s love of Jesus and witness to the feminine genius inspired her as the patron Saint of Saint Catherine of Siena Academy.
St. Catherine of Siena, PRAY FOR US!
“My family has had an excellent experience at this school so far. Beyond the beautiful new facility, I have been impressed with the teachers and the administration! They challenge the girls both academically and spiritually, they know them by name, and appear to have a genuine concern for each individual student. The school really feels like a family. As a parent, it is a blessing to me to know that my daughter is in such good hands when I drop her off everyday.”
“This school has a very strong faith atmosphere! The school is fairly new, but is starting to build a name for itself both spiritually and academically. The faculty and staff rock!”
“SCA proves you can educate young women to both get into Heaven and Harvard!”
“I loved every minute at St. Catherine! The friends I made there will always be a part of my family. This school taught me how to be a strong, intelligent, independent woman who is strong in her faith. I am blessed to say I got to experience SCA.”
“This school is not only college prep, it is life prep. I know that my daughter is being educated to go out and make a positive difference in the world. She will graduate with the confidence and courage to lead wherever she goes in life. I love the principal, the teachers, and the families. It is such a blessing to be a part of the SCA Family. I know the friends my daughter has made will be her sisters for life.”
“SCA is authentically and unapologetically Catholic. It’s excellence in academics and athletics is rooted in its mission to pass on the beauty of the Catholic faith in a way that is relevant to the modern world. The result is a constant focus on the character and virtue of its students, challenging them to be the best version of themselves not just academically, but spiritually as well.”
“This high school builds the whole young woman intellectually, spiritually, and teaches the feminine genius approach to life. Amen!”
“I have been very impressed with the teachers at this school. They both challenge the girls academically and show true concern for them on a personal level as well.”
“As a graduate of this school, I can attest to not only the strong education I received from SCA but also the strong foundation I was given in which I could build my own faith upon. I felt fully prepared for the ‘real world’ both academically and spiritually.”