Franciscan Calendar: Saint Catherine of Bologna

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

March 16, 2019

On the Franciscan Calendar, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity feature Saint Catherine of Bologna, Poor Clare, as our saint of the month of March. Another Saint Clare, her story is also one of goodness and light.

Catherine’s father was foretold by the Virgin Mary that she would be great light to the world. She was born on the Feast of the Annunciation. Her education included foreign languages and other knowledge fitting a woman of fine arts and academic insight, including Fathers of the Church and Latin. At 17 years old, she obtained the consent of her mother–her beloved father having already died–to join prayerful young women in Ferrara that eventually became Poor Clare Nuns. Learn more about this saint of the second order of St. Francis.

Some Lenten wisdom

Sometimes the devil inspires souls with an inordinate zeal for a certain virtue or some special pious exercise, so that they will be motivated by their passion to practice it more and more. This temptation is more to pride rather than virtue….Sometimes, on the other hand, the devil coaches souls to do less than they can really do. This temptation is more to false humility…In both cases, the devil’s goal is to make the soul discouraged when the virtue is found to be unattainable; and to be wearied and disgusted if his efforts are below his abilities. The soul ends up neglecting everything. It is as necessary to overcome the one snare as the other.– Saint Catherine of Bologna, from On the Seven Spiritual Weapons

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