9th March


St. Catherine of Bologna


Virgin, Second Order

Feast day: March 9

Patron of Artists

Died: 1463

  The three branches of the First Order and also the Third Order Regular Celebrate her feast on march ninth.

St. Catherine of Bologna, Virgin (Patroness of Artists) Feast - March 9th Born in 1413, Catherine de Vigri was the daughter of a diplomatic agent of the Marquis of Ferrara. At the age of eleven, she was appointed maid of honour to the daughter of the Marquis and shared her training and education. When the daughter eventually married, she wanted Catherine to remain in her service, but Catherine left the court and became a Franciscan Tertiary at the age of fourteen.


Catherine had determined to live a life of perfection, and was admired by her companions for her holiness. Eventually her Community became part of the Poor Clares. She soon began to experience visions of Christ and Satan, and wrote of her experiences, one of which occurred one Christmas. Through her efforts with Pope Nicholas V, the Poor Clare convent at Ferrara erected an enclosure, and Catherine was appointed Superioress. The reputation of the Community for its holiness and austerity became widespread. She then was appointed Superioress of a new convent in Bologna.


In Lent of 1463, Catherine became seriously ill, and she died on March 9th. Buried without a coffin, her body was exhumed eighteen days later because of cures attributed to her and also because of the sweet scent coming from her grave. Her body was found to be incorrupt and remains so today in the Church of the Poor Clare convent in Bologna. She was canonized in 1712.


Despite the opportunity to live a noble life at court, St. Catherine eagerly responded to her call to lead the religious life. Her piety, charity, and kindness attracted many to follow her along the road to perfection. The beauty of her life and death encourages us to resolve to live in perfect charity as a Lenten goal.


from Wikipedia

Saint Catherine of Bologna, O.S.C. (8 September 1413 – 9 March 1463) was an Italian nun, artist and saint.

 The patron saint of artists and against temptations, Catherine de'Vigri was venerated for nearly three centuries in her native Bologna before being formally canonized, in 1712.


Catherine came from an aristocratic Bolognese family, raised from the age of nine at the court of the Marquis Nicholas IV, Duke of Ferrara, whose ambassador was her father. In 1431 together with other young women of Ferrara, she founded a Monastery of the Order of Poor Clares.

 She returned to Bologna in 1456 when her superiors and the governors of Bologna requested that she be the founder and Abbess of a monastery of the same Order, which was to be established in association with the Church of Corpus Domini. Catherine is the author, among other things, of Treatise on the 7 Spiritual Weapons Necessary for Spiritual Warfare.[1] She was attributed with having visions both of God and of Satan, which are discussed at length in Treatise, and with performing miracles.

 Some of her art and manuscripts survive, including a depiction of St. Ursula from 1456, now in the Galleria Academica in Venice. Some historians have called her style naive. That these works of Catherine de'Vigri remain existent might be due to their status as relics of a saint.

 When she died at the age of 49, Catherine was buried and after eighteen days of reported graveside miracles, her incorrupt body was exhumed and relocated to the chapel of the Poor Clares in Bologna,[1] where it remains on display, dressed in her religious habit and seated upright behind glass.

 Recent Discoveries

 In the last years of the millennium, new works by Catherine de'Vigri came to light and were published in Italian, in her native Bologna. Here is their description by Cardinal Giacomo Biffi: "The works of Catherine of Bologna, many of which have long remained unknown, are now revealed in their surprising beauty. We can ascertain that she was not undeserving of her renown as a highly cultivated person, nor was it due to a complicated series of historical circumstances. We are now in a position to meditate on a veritable monument of theology which, after the Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons, is made up of distinct and autonomous parts: The Twelve Gardens, a mystical work of her youth, Rosarium, a Latin poem on the life of Jesus, and The Sermons, i.e. Catherine's words to her religious sisters.[....]"

 - (translated from the Presentation of the first published edition of I Sermoni, Ed. Barghigiani, Bologna 1999) She is also the Patroness of Artists. She is honoured because of her clean and cantered heart which helped her turn away from sin, and is also a virgin.


 •Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons Necessary for Spiritual Warfare

 •Laudi, Trattati e Lettere

 •I dodici giardini


 •I sermoni

 [1].St. Catherine of Bologna  Catholic Encyclopedia 


Prayer of the Church


Grant, O God, that we Thy servants, may receive help through

the intercession of the holy virgin Catherine, that by the sweet

odor of her virtues, we may be joyfully attracted to Thy

sanctuary Through the same Christ Our Lord Who

liveth and reignethwith Thee  and the Holy Spirit,

One God, now and forever.  Amen




Prayer; Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

Catholic Online, Modified 2009, St. Catherine of Bologna, catholic.org, Accessed 12 February 2013, <web:catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=111>


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