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Rome Reports

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Catherine of Siena: Experts study life of woman who forced the pope back to Rome

Giulia BaroneUniversity of La Sapienza (Rome)“The Republic of Florence sent her as an ambassador to the pope of Avignon to seek peace between the two powers. Being a woman and less than 30 years old, shows that she was considered capable of carrying out this work of mediation.”

St. Catherine was an exceptional person who persuaded Gregory XI to return to Rome and restore relations with Florence. She also fought for the recognition of Urban VI and for an end to the schism that had split the Western Church in two.

Unlike the saints canonized during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, St. Catherine did not make religious vows. She was very motivated, learning to read and write without any schooling.

The saint of Siena was known for work in making peace in politics. But she is also recognized as having a natural gift for evangelizing.

Giulia BaroneUniversity of La Sapienza (Rome)“She was able to bring confession to people who had not confessed in 30 years. She said: ?Why don?t you confess?? And she would actually reveal to them their reasons for not confessing. She would then say ?I know you do not confess, because you don?t want to tell this story.?”

St. Catherine was a giant of her time. A memory that this congress is reviving by looking back at her personality and work. The conclusion of their meeting was summed up in it?s title: “Virgo Digna Coelo,” a woman worthy of Heaven.