By Means of That Flesh We Draw Milk

The feast day of St. Catherine of Siena is April 29th. I consider her my Patron Saint, the woman who helped bring me to the Church.

St. Catherine of Siena, rose

From one of my very favorite books, Caroline Walker Bynum’s Holy Feast and Holy Fast:

“The various accounts of Catherine’s life all stress her Eucharistic devotion. Like other fasting women, Catherine substituted frequent Communion for ordinary eating, although she encountered criticism for this from confessors, family, and her fellow tertiaries. Like Margaret of Cortona, she detected an unconsecrated host, yet also like Margaret she revered priests passionately for their ability to celebrate Mass.”

St. Catherine of Siena, orange profile

“(Biographer) Raymond (of Capua) recounts her ecstasies, trances, frenzies, bleedings, and tears at the Eucharist, and he associates her cravings for Christ’s blood, like her drinking of (a patient’s) pus, with a nursing Christ.”

St. Catherine of Siena, red stripe

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