Thursday, April 29, 2010

Feast Day: St. Catherine Benincasa (of Siena)

St. Catherine of Siena is well-loved around here.  She is one of Kotch's namesake-saints and she is dh's patron saint this year.  This was one amazing woman who lived only 33 years and yet accomplished so much through her mystic discussions -- which, for the continued benefit of Catholics today, were transcribed for the Church.

In musing about what to feast on to celebrate this wonderful Dominican tertiary, I did a "google" on recipes and found out something wonderful.  The author of one of my favorite liturgical year cookbooks, A Continual Feast, Evelyn Birge Vitz, has created a blog to continue the recipes and celebration of the liturgical year aptly named A Continual Feast ... Continued

I love what she said about foods for St. Catherine's feast:
What shall we eat in St. Catherine's honor? I was casting about for Italian treats--I am sure the Sienese must have something scrumptious for her feast day! But Catherine herself spent important periods of her life fasting, and indeed consuming nothing but the Eucharistic host. As she said in one of her dialogues, speaking to the Eternal Trinity: "The food of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love… In our hunger you are a satisfying food, for you are sweetness and in you there is no taste of bitterness, O triune God." I think that, if possible, the most appropriate food for us to eat in St. Catherine’s honor is the Eucharist--the bread of heaven.

So, we're off to Mass this morning!  [But, never fear, I'm sure we'll come up with something suitable for feasting tonight!]

Here are some wonderful resources we will use today to learn more about St. Catherine of Siena, one of only three female Doctors of the Church:
  • Rick has been reading Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset and highly recommends this loving portrait of his saint.
  • Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue is packed with copywork possibilities even for the youngest; although her thoughts are deeply profound, the words are quite accessible (with some explanation) for even BamBam. [Note:  the picture above, which I used to make a prayer card, is the Holy Spirit inspiring St. Catherine to dictate the Dialogue.]
  • Lay Siege to Heaven: A Novel about Saint Catherine of Siena by Louis deWohl, is a wonderful telling of this lady's life.  This book is great reading for the 5th grade and up crowd.
  • Catherine of Siena (the DVD) is one of those great dramas created in Italy and distributed in the US by Ignatius Press.  The ability to show the kids a saint "in real life" helps them "own" the saint and remember her and her trials and triumphs.
Happy Feast of St. Catherine of Siena ... and please say a prayer to her today for Kotch (who is heading into finals week at college) and for Rick ....

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