St. Catherine dei Ricci (Feast: February 13)
Catherine’s father, Pier Francesco dei Ricci, was of an old and respected family of Florence.
Her mother died when she was a small child, and Catherine was brought up by a devoted stepmother, Fiammetta da Diacceto.
Her stepmother soon observed the child's unusual tendency to holiness, and did her utmost to foster and develop it.
At the age of thirteen, Catherine entered a Dominican convent at Prato, where she suffered from a number of diseases for two years. She sanctified her suffering with great patience, and often meditated on the Passion of Our Lord as she endured her illnesses.
In February of 1542, when she was just twenty years old, Catherine began to experience ecstasies of the Passion. Every Thursday and Friday, she beheld and enacted the scenes preceding Our Lord’s Crucifixion.
Her holiness soon attracted visits from many people of every rank and calling – including three cardinals who later became Pope Marcellus II, Pope Clement VIII, and Pope Leo XI. Catherine’s reputation attracted so many people, that the peace and strict observance of the order began to suffer.
The ecstasies of the Passion ceased after twelve years in answer to the prayers of Catherine and the Dominican community.
Catherine was also known for her friendship with St. Philip Neri. Though she never met him in person, she often appeared to him in visions from her convent in Prato. This was expressly stated by St. Phillip and five witnesses, and aided in her beatification.
St. Catherine dei Ricci died the prioress of the Dominican Convent on February 2, 1590, after a long illness. Her body remains incorrupt.
DAILY QUOTE for May 18, 2021
As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty.