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February 2

St Catherine de' Ricci - February 2

Saint Catherine de Ricci

Nun, Mystic, Stigmatist

(1522 – 1590)

“​Gather up all your worries and make a bundle of them and throw them all into those most holy wounds of Jesus Christ. You could not put them anywhere better than in Jesus and his most holy Mother. They are the ones who are perfectly capable of consoling and calming the human heart…

Saint  Catherine de’ Ricci

Saint’s Life Story

Her Early Life 

Alessandrina Lucrezia Romola de’ Ricci was born in Florence, Italy on April 23, 1522 to a pious and well-respected family. Her mother died when she was an infant and she was raised by her devoted stepmother, who encouraged her to live a holy life. When she has about 71/2 years old, her father placed her in the Convent of Monticelli, in Florence, where her aunt, Louisa de Ricci, was a nun. Her aunt and the other sisters watched over her and taught her catechism there.

Entered the Dominican Community

Alessandrina was twelve years old when she entered the Dominican Community of Prat, taking the religious name Catherine. Initially and for the first four-fve years after her profession, Catherine experienced many trials and humiliations within the order. She received visions and had ecstasies, which caused some concern among her peers, who didn’t understand her mystical experiences.

Received Stigmata

Starting in 1542, when Catherine was 20, she experienced an extradorinary series of visions. Catherine had her first spiritual ecstasy of the Passion of Christ. She received a wedding ring from Christ on Easter in 1542, which appeared as a red circle on her finger to others, but as a ring to her. In addition to receiving the stigmata of the wound in the side and of the crown of thorns on the brow, for the next twelve years, she experienced all the stages of Christ’s suffering. This happened every Thursday at noon and lasted until 4:00 pm on Friday.  She offered up all this suffering for the release of the poor souls in purgatory. Crowds came to see her, skeptics and sinners being converted by the sight.

Vision of Saint Philip Neri

Like Saint John of Egypt and Saint Antony, Catherine met Philip Neri in a vision while he was still alive and in Rome. They had corresponded for a long time and wanted to meet each other but were unable to arrange it. Catherine appeared to Philip in a vision and they conversed for a long time. Saint Philip, who was also cautious in giving credence to or publishing visions, confirmed this. This blessed ability to bilocate, like Padre Pio, was confirmed by the oaths of five witnesses.

Cared for Poor and Sick

Along with her rich mystical life, Catherine lived out her faith in a practical way, caring for the sick and the poor of Prato, Italy. She spent many hours in prayer.  Having become the prioress of her convent at the age of twenty-five, Catherine gave spiritual counsel to three future popes (Cardinals Cervini, Pope Marcellus II; Alexander de Medici, Pope Leo XI; Aldobrandini, Pope Clement VIII) as well as to thousands of others. Catherine also corresponded with Saint Charles Borromeo and Pope Saint Pius V.  As a result of her prayers, penance, and counsel, many grew in personal holiness, discovering great hope, comfort, and peace in their faith and in the power of prayer.

Her Death

Catherine lived in the convent and died after a long illness in Prato, Italy on February 2, 1590.  Her feast day is February 2 but used to be February 13 before 1971.

Born:                  April 23, 1522 in Florence, Italy

Died:                   February 2, 1590 in Prato, Italy

Beatified:           November 23, 1732 by Pope Clement XII

Canonized:        June 29, 1746 by Pope Benedict XIV

Feast Day:          February 2

Patron Saint:     Against Illness, Sick People

Source:

Reflection

Jesus certainly made a dramatic appearance to Saint Catherine de’Ricci through her stigmata for many years. The answer why Jesus did this could be the same reason he cured the sick and healed the lame during his time on earth – in order to give us a vivid, tangible parable about how intensely and personally he loves each one of us. If you keep that in mind, nothing you encounter will derail you from God’s love.

Have you looked at Jesus nailed to the wooden cross? Have you thought about the extent of his love that he would suffer and die for our sins? How can you show others your thanks to Jesus’s gracious love for us? 

Prayers

Father, we pray that St. Catherine will continue to influence people on earth to be great spiritual leaders just as she did while here among us. She inspired many people who in turn inspired many others. Give us the grace to die to ourselves, Lord, that we may be vessels, like Catherine, through whom you reach many. In Christ’s name we pray.

Saint Catherine de’ Ricci, pray for us. Amen.

Source: St. Catherine de Ricci (catholicexchange.com)

Saint Links 

All Saints & Martyrs – Saint Catherine of Ricci – Religious

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 13 February – Saint Catherine de Ricci OP (1522-1590)

Angelus – Saint of the day: Catherine de Ricci

A Reason2BCatholic – Saints Alive! | St. Catherine del Ricci

Bartleby.com – Rev. Alban Butler Volume II: February. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. February 13 St. Catharine de Ricci, Virgin

Catholic Culture  – St. Catherine de Ricci

Catholic Exchange – St. Catherine de Ricci

Catholic Fire – St. Catherine de’ Ricci, Mystic and Stigmatist

Catholic News Agency – St. Catherine de Ricci Feast Day: Feb 13

Catholic Online – St. Catherine de Ricci

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Catherine del Ricci

Internet Archive – St Catherine de’ Ricci : her life, her letters, her community by Florence Mary Capes

New Advent – Capes, F. (1908). St. Catherine de’ Ricci. In The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Catherine de Ricci (1522-1590)

Saint of the Day – February 13 St. Catherine de Ricci

Wikipedia – Catherine of Ricci

Video Link

Saint of the Day: February 13th – St. Catherine de Ricci – YouTube Video (Bulter’s Live of the Saints)

Purgatory Stories: The Suffering of St. Catherine of Ricci – YouTube Video (Uniquely Mary)