She thought she could be a martyr….

Anonymous, c. 1500

Heads up.

The 29th of April is, when not displaced by Sunday, the feast-day of Saint Catherine of Siena, the great Dominican tertiary.

The wonderful Maria Lectrix has read and recorded Catherine’s dialogue with God the Father — starting here.

Also edifying: Wikimedia Commons’ gallery of Catherine-of-Siena-related pictures, including this painting of a Carmelite/Dominican/Franciscan triple threat, and some intense images of Catherine’s exchange of hearts with Our Lord.

Project Gutenberg has her Letters in multiple formats for free. The translator and editor of that volume, Vida Scudder, prefaces one of Catherine’s letters to Blessed Raimondo of Capua thus:

With all her longing to suffer for her faith, Catherine was only once, so far as we know, exposed to physical violence. This was on the occasion of which she is here speaking. She is still in Florence, faithful under the new Pope as under the old to her efforts to bring about the passionately desired peace. In a tumult in the disordered city, it came to pass that her life was threatened, and she took refuge with her “famiglia,” in a garden without the walls. Hither her enemies pursued her, but as they drew near, fell back of a sudden, awestruck, as she herself here tells us, by her words and bearing. The danger was averted, and Catherine had met one of the disappointments of her life.*

 

*Footnote: As she herself expresses it, “The Eternal Bridegroom played a great joke on me.”

“… some dim dazzling trick of grace …”

It is impossible to say why he is here. Is it part and parcel of the complex business of coming up in the world? Or is it because he believes that God himself is present here at the corner of Elysian Fields and Bons Enfants? Or is he here for both reasons: through some dim dazzling trick of grace, coming for the one and receiving the other as God’s own importunate bonus? It is impossible to say.

–Walker Percy, The Moviegoer