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Rome molds experts on the rebel saint, Saint Catherine of Siena

2009-06-19

Apart from all her virtues, she went down in history for her work as a diplomat and peace mediator.

If it wasn’t for Saint Catherine, Avignon, France would still be the center of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1377, she convinced the pope to bring the papacy back to Rome.

Diega Giunta
Centro Internazionale di Studi Cateriniani

Gregory XI decided to bring the papacy back to Rome after speaking with Saint Catherine of Siena. She revealed to him a special vow he’d made. The pope had promised that if elected pontiff, his papacy would return to Rome.

Saint Catherine also fought for peace during the Western Schism that began in 1378, a period in which the Church was divided. 

Diega Giunta
Centro Internazionale di Studi Cateriniani

At that time the cardinals who had elected Urban VI repented of their election. They said it was invalid, so they elected another pope, Clement VII, a Swiss cardinal. That’s why the Church was divided.

Saint Catherine’s life and work led her to become one of the first women named a Doctor of the Church. That’s why there’s a study center in Rome dedicated especially to her.

The study center is in the same building where Saint Catherine lived the last years of her life.

Giovanna Catalano
Centro Internazionale di Studi Cateriniani

There’s lots of international interest, many foreign students contact us, wanting to come to study at the library.

Here they keep everything related to Saint Catherine: letters, prayers, biographies, studies and a series of volumes that include all that’s been published about her. Enthusiasts and students alike visit the center.

If you visit Rome and would like to learn more about Saint Catherine, remember to visit the study center, the chapel where she used to pray - located in this same building, and her tomb in the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.

DG