The Church serves the kingdom of God and helps it come into being. God’s
kingdom is one of justice and mercy and love. It is so today; it will
be even more so tomorrow.
Throughout the ages, many Christians have worked to bring God’s
kingdom more fully into being. Catherine of Siena was one of these Christians.
Catherine’s parents lived in Siena, Italy, and had 25 children.
Catherine, who was born in 1347, was number 23. From an early age she
loved to pray. By the time of her death in 1380—when she was only
33—she had touched the lives of many people.
Who were these people? One was Pope Urban VI. In 1378, two men both claimed
to be pope. This schism tore the Church apart. Catherine helped Christians
realize that Urban was the true pope.
Catherine also helped prisoners. She walked to the gallows with them.
She nursed people made ill by a plague. She worked in hospitals. Always,
she gave people a simple message that God had taught her in prayer.
What was this message? That we grow into holiness. Through our words,
actions, and choices, we grow closer to God. Daily we can choose, as Catherine
did, to work for God’s kingdom. At its center, God waits for us.
But, God is with us every step of the way! Catherine knew this. All her
work for the Church and the kingdom it serves began and ended with prayer.
Connecting to Faith First®
Junior High, Liturgy and Morality, chapter 22