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catherine of sienaCatherine was born in Siena in 1347, one of 25 children.  At a young age she decided to dedicate herself to the Lord and resisted the attempts of her family to marry her off.  She became a Dominican Tertiary and both her writings and her stigmata reveal her intimate union with God.  Despite her retired life, she was actively involved in public affairs and persuaded Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome from Avignon.  She later tried to unite the Church during the Great Schism and moved to Rome, where she died in 1380, aged 33.  She was proclaimed patroness of Italy in 1939, Doctor of the Church in 1970, and a patron of Europe in 1999. – CTS New Daily Roman Missal 2012, p 2658; Christian Prayer 1990, p 1122.

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