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!
“An excellent community for families that want to stay involved! Everyone has a different opinion and all students, staff, and faculty are respectful of it. I have never been in an environment that was so inviting and welcoming. It is easy to find a home in this school because the staff genuinely care about you and want you to succeed. It really is a beautiful place and a great experience. I am very lucky to have gone through high school there.”
“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.”
“The community service, the focus on virtuous living, and the sisterhood really instills compassion and respect for all of humanity.”
“Recently attended an event at this school – very beautiful!”
“I was among one of the very first classes SCA ever had. As a pioneer and a student to be a part of the foundation of clubs and classes that continue today, I am beyond proud of how far the school has come. There were many ups and downs during my four years but an amazing experience overall. Today at college I still look back on and cherish my times at SCA, thankful for the connections, education and sisterhood I acquired. I am looking forward to seeing many more young women carry on the traditions my class and recent classes have set for the future.”
“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.”
“SCA proves you can educate young women to both get into Heaven and Harvard!”
“[Teachers] care about the success of each student. They come early to help students and stay after school if necessary. They are a super dedicated faculty.”
“The school lives up to their mission statement by unlocking the feminine genius in the girls who go there and providing us with the opportunity to discover who we are meant to be.”