St. Catherine of Siena
Feast Day - April 30
Catherine, a Virgin of Siena, born of devout parents, was granted the habit of St. Dominic worn by the Sisters of Penance. Her abstinence was most strict, and her whole life was one of marvellous austerity. When she was staying at Pisa on the Lords day refreshed by the Bread of Heaven and rapt in ecstasy, she saw the crucified Lord coming with a great light and, from the marks of His wounds, five rays coming down to the same places in her body. Aware of the mystery, she implored the Lord that the wounds would not be visible, and the color of the rays immediately changed from that of blood to brightness, in the form of pure light touching her hands and feet and heart.
But such was the pain she suffered, even though the signs of the bleeding wounds could not be seen, that she believed she would soon have died if God had not lessened it. Her learning was infused, not acquired. She went to Pope Gregory XI at Avignon and showed him that she knew by divine means of the vow he had made to return to the City, a vow known to God alone, and she was the cause of the Popes going to occupy in person his See in Rome. In about the thirty-third year of her age she went to her Bridegroom, and Pius II enrolled her among the Holy Virgins.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1761-1762.
Epistle and Gospel for April 30