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St. Catherine of Bologna, Poor Clare Nun and Mystic

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Ave Maria Hour Radio Show

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Rebroadcast of the long-running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour," a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org

Catherine de Vigri was born on September 8, 1413 in Bologna, Italy. She was a member of an aristocratic family and the daughter of a diplomat to the Marquis of Ferrara. Catherine received a wonderful education in reading, writing, singing and drawing while being raised at the court of the Marquis. She excelled in painting, Latin and the viola. When the Marquis’ daughter eventually married, she wanted Catherine to remain in her service, but Catherine instead became a Franciscan Tertiary. Eventually, the community to which Catherine belonged adopted the second rule of the Franciscans, joining the Order of the Poor Clares.

Catherine was graced with many spiritual gifts throughout her life. A mystic, she frequently experienced visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Christ at the hour of His crucifixion, and Satan. In the most remarkable of her visions, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Catherine with the swaddled baby Jesus in her arms. The Mother of God handed the Infant to Catherine, who joyously held Him and kissed His cheek.

St. Catherine of Bologna lived a Christian life of perfect piety, charity, and kindness. She died in 1463 at the age of 50. She was canonized on May 22, 1712 by Pope Clement XI. Her feast day is celebrated on March 9.

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