St Catherine of Genoa; St Irenaeus of Sirmium; St Catherine of Valdstena; St Aldemar
Catherine of Genoa
confession one day was the turning point of Catherine's life.
When Catherine was born, many
Italian nobles were supporting Renaissance artists and writers. The needs of the poor and the sick
were often overshadowed by a hunger for luxury and self-indulgence.
Catherine's parents were members of the nobility in Genoa. At 13 she attempted to become a nun
but failed because of her age. At 16 she married Julian, a nobleman who turned out to be selfish and
unfaithful. For a while she tried to numb her disappointment by a life of selfish
One day in confession she had a new sense of her own sins and how much God loved her. She
reformed her life and gave good example to Julian, who soon turned from his self-centered life of
Julian's spending, however, had ruined them financially. He and Catherine decided to live in
the Pammatone, a large hospital in Genoa, and to dedicate themselves to works of charity there.
After Julian's death in 1497, Catherine took over management of the hospital.
She wrote about purgatory
which, she said, begins on earth for souls open to God. Life with God in heaven is a continuation
and perfection of the life with God begun on earth.
Exhausted by her life of self-sacrifice, she died September
15, 1510, and was canonized in 1737.
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