Bologna Italy: Shrine of Saint Catherine of Bologna
About Saint Catherine of Bologna:
In 1427, at the age of fourteen, she left the court to dedicate herself to religious life in a community of young women. Two years later, the leader of this group founded an Augustinian convent, but Catherine and a number of others preferred Franciscan spirituality and transformed the community into Poor Clares.
The saint “made great spiritual progress in this new phase of her life, though she also had to face great trails”, the Pope explained. “She experienced the night of the spirit, tormented even by the temptation of disbelief in the Eucharist.
After much suffering, the Lord consoled her. In a vision He gave her the clear awareness of the real Eucharistic presence”. In another vision God revealed the forgiveness of her sins, giving Catherine a “powerful experience of divine mercy”.
In 1431, the saint had yet another vision, this time of the Final Judgement, which led her “to intensify her prayers and penance for the salvation of sinners. Satan continued to assail her as she increasingly entrusted herself to the Lord and the Virgin Mary. In her writings, Catherine left notes on this mysterious struggle, from which, by the grace of God, she emerged victorious”.
Catherine died on 9 March 1463 and was canonized by Pope Clement XI in 1712. Pope Benedict XVI later wrote “With her words and life, she strongly invites us always to allow ourselves to be guided by God, to do His will every day even if it does not always correspond to our own plans, and to trust in His Providence which never abandons us. In this perspective, St. Catherine also invites us to rediscover the value of the virtue of obedience.”
Her body was discovered to be incorrupt in 1463 and has remained so, although the skin has darkened over the years.
We celebrate her Feast Day on March 9, the day she passed to eternal life.
About the Shrine of Saint Catherine in Bologna:
Officially called Santuario del Corpus Domini, the Shrine contains her incorrupt body.
It is near the center of the city about 20 minutes from the train station on foot, or you can take bus #30.
Traveling to the Shrine of Saint Catherine:
Address: Via Tagliapietre, 21 Bologna
GPS coordinates: 44° 29′ 21.3252” N. 11° 20′ 22.8552” E
Tel: +39 051 331277
Click here for the official website of Santuario del Corpus Domini in Bologna.