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Papal audience topic: St. Catherine of Bologna

Catholic World News - December 29, 2010

At his weekly public audience on December 29, Pope Benedict XVI continued his series of talks on the great women of Church history, speaking about the 15th-century Poor Clare abbess, St. Catherine of Bologna.

Born into a noble family, St. Catherine spent her early years at the court of Ferrara, but then entered religious life, the Pope said. She experienced a “night of the spirit,” in which she was assailed by doubts, but persevered and received consolation from God.

Later St. Catherine experienced a vision of the Last Judgment, which overpowered her with a belief in both the gravity of sin and the depth of God’s mercy. Continually afflicted by temptations, she wrote a “Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons,” explaining how best to overcome temptations.

Pope Benedict ended his Wednesday talk with a prayer that St. Catherine would serve as model and guide for the faithful, instructing them in humility and in steady daily efforts at prayer.

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