May 24th, 1992
Brother John Raymond

Prayer of St. Catherine of Siena to the Precious Blood of Jesus
 (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church

	When Catherine was six years old she had a vision of Jesus. He
 was wearing papal robes and the Tiara, Crown of the Pope. A sign
 surely of the Saint's future mission of bringing the Pope back from
 Avignon (France) to Rome.
	As a little girl St. Catherine was very holy. She would say a
 Hail Mary at each step of the stairs and her mother noticed that her
 feet never touched the steps! When her father saw a dove over her
 head while at prayer Catherine was then left free to her devotions
 and freed from talk of marriage. She made herself a hermitage in
 their cold, damp cellar and spent three years there as a recluse
 leaving only for Church and only talking in Confession. Before
 entering into this retirement St. Catherine entered the Third Order
 of St. Dominic and attended the Dominican Church in her native city
 of Siena, Italy.
	During this novitiate the Saint suffered greatly yet also
 received many mystical graces and visions. Once Jesus appeared to
 her and offered her the choice between two crowns, one of gold, one
 of thorns. She chose the one of thorns - like His own. Her heart was
 changed by Jesus so that her will was totally united to God's will.
	After this took place St. Catherine began her mission. Our Lord
 told her to leave her hermitage and return to her family. Also she
 began to care for the sick in Siena. She visited the prisons. She
 even comforted a man who was to be executed to such an extent that
 he was happy to die and go to Heaven. She stayed beside him as he
 was executed. St. Catherine helped many poor people and her father
 said she could give away everything in the house! More than once Our
 Lord came to St. Catherine disguised as a poor man to ask for her
 help. She later learned Whom she had been helping.
	In 1370 St. Catherine was called to a public apostolate. She
 traveled from city to city bringing about peace among the war-torn
 city-states. She converted so many that priests had to travel with
 her to hear confessions. She had many followers. They stayed with
 her and called her `madre' or `mother' and they were her family. In
 time even her widowed mother joined this band of Lovers of God. 
	In her travels the Saint went to Pisa, Italy. It was there that
 the Saint received the Sacred Stigmata: the Wounds of Our Lord. She
 was praying before the Crucifix when bright red rays from the five
 Sacred Wounds streamed toward her. "Please Lord make it invisible"
 she prayed and the rays became white before reaching her. While
 having the pain of the wounds she could keep it secret from the
 public. Another grace St. Catherine received was to live without any
 food except the Bread of Life: Holy Communion. 
	St. Catherine was told by Jesus that she was to urge the Pope to
 return to Rome. For seventy years the Pope had lived in France at
 Avignon. The Saint went to Pope Gregory XI and "Sweet Christ on
 Earth" as she referred to him, obeyed God's command through St.
 Catherine. Her work for the Church did not end with this. She moved
 to Rome and continued her prayers and work for the Church. Once in
 St. Peter's it seemed as if the Church, represented in a mosaic as
 the Barque or Boat of Peter, was placed on her shoulders! She
 offered herself as a victim for the Church.
	At the age of 33 St. Catherine died in Rome surrounded by her
 followers. Having always been devoted to the Precious Blood her last
 words were, "Blood, Blood, Blood."
	St. Catherine left the Church her great work, "The Dialogue." She
 dictated this book in three days, in ecstasy, to three secretaries.
 It is a masterpiece of the spiritual life and earned her the title
 "Doctor of the Church." This was proclaimed by Pope Paul VI in 1970
 and she shares this title with only one other woman, St. Teresa of

Her prayer to the Precious Blood of Jesus:

Precious Blood,
Ocean of Divine Mercy:
Flow upon us!

Precious Blood,
Most pure Offering:
Procure us every Grace!

Precious Blood,
Hope and Refuge of sinners:
Atone for us!

Precious Blood,
Delight of holy souls:
Draw us! Amen.