Painting of St Catherine by Sr Mary Grace op
Our Lady of Peace
Sr Mary Grace painting
6 Church Drive
New Castle, Delaware 19720
Saint Catherine was born Catherine Benincasa in Siena, Italy, to Giacomo di Benincasa, a cloth-dyer, and Lapa Piagenti, a daughter of a local poet. She was the 23rd out of 25 children, and her twin sister died at birth.
Catherine received no formal education, and at the age of seven she consecrated her virginity to Christ despite her family's opposition. Her parents wanted her to live a normal life and marry, but against her parents' will, she dedicated her life to praying, meditating and living in total solitude into her late teens. At the age of sixteen, she took the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries.
Catherine dedicated her life to helping the ill and the poor, where she took care of them in hospitals or homes. She rounded up a group of followers, both women and men, and traveled with them along Northern Italy where they asked for a reform of the clergy, the launch of a new crusade and advised people that repentance and renewal could be done through "the total love for God." Catherine also dedicated her life to the study of religious texts.