209. ST. Catherine of Siena. Part fourteen
We were discussing the miracles after death of St. Catherine.
10 A woman on a pilgrimage from Germany could hardly see from her eyes due to some eye disease. She prayed to the holy virgin for improvement of her vision and vowed. After a short interval her vision got much better. She visited the tomb of St Catherine.
11. A Roman lady by the name of Maria lost the vision of one eye and had pain. She went into seclusion from shame. She devoutly prayed to Catherine. One night Catherine appeared in her dream and told her to throw away her medicines and attend Mass every morning and she will be cured. The pain stopped at once. Vision also improved. As she continued attending the Mass she was completely cured.
12. A youth named Giacomo and a Roman woman Cilia de Petruccio, both, were near their end by diseases. Both were cured by praying to Catherine.
13. A servant woman, Bona di Giovanni, was washing a quilt. The heavy water-soaked quilt could not be managed by Bona and started being taken away by the water current along with the helpless woman. She called out, “O’ holy virgin, Catherine of Siena, save me from this great danger”. Suddenly, the quilt, along with Bona, started moving towards the bank, and landed there. The woman, in all honesty, thought that it was a miracle.
14. Raymond was told of the above mentioned miracles, but here is one miracle part of which he personally witnessed:
15. A young Roman, Nicolo, was suffering from a throat disease called quinsy. The air passage was close to complete blockage, which would have lead to his death. Alexia, the great companion of Late Catherine, was a friend of Nicolo family. She had a tooth of Catherine in her possession. She rushed to the patient, put the tooth close to his face and begged Catherine to cure him. Immediately there was a noise as if something had burst. Foul matter came out and he was cured.
On one occasion Raymond was preaching and he told the story of this miracle. As it happened Nicolo was in the audience. He stood up and corroborated the episode.
16. In 1384, head of St Catherine was brought to Siena from Rome. A solemn reception was held. Raymond arranged a lunch for the friars and the guests to celebrate the occasion. Due to some mistake bread was found to be inadequate; it was enough for five persons whereas there were about fifty people to feed. The Prior immediately sent two friars to friendly houses to collect more bread. They did not return for some time. Prior ordered for loaves to be served to the guests. I quote Raymond, “…either in the bin, or on the table, or somewhere or other, those loaves by Catherine’s merits multiplied miraculously to such an extent that ……everybody was able to eat as much as they liked …..”. “ …I turned to the guests, and said, ‘Our mother did not want this day to go without a miracle for us, …she wanted to show that our ceremony pleased her…”’
Levitation. I have already mentioned it in blog 196
Not burnt by fire. Once Catherine was sitting by the fire and rotating the spit. She fell in an ecstasy. Her sister-in-law, Lisa, saw it and removed her hand from the spit. Lisa got busy in other chores in the house and did not return to Catherine for several hours. As it happened, Catherine had fallen over the burning embers. Lisa shrieked and dragged her out of the fire. She found out that Catherine’s clothes and body were unaffected by the fire. There was no smell of burning. There was not the slightest trace of ash on her dress.
One day, in church, a lighted candle fell on the veil covering Catherine’s head, while she knelt. The candle kept on burning till all the wax was consumed and then the flame went out. It did not burn the veil and did no harm to Catherine.
This miracle was watched by many of her companions, including Lisa, Alexia, and Francesca.
Driving out evil spirit. A modern man like me does not know what to do with this section, because in modern time we do not see evil spirits possessing human beings. Modern science calls it Hysteria. Jesus Christ drove out demons and Saint Catherine drove out demons, as mentioned in detail by Raymond. I cannot describe them as they were not miracles, but recovery from sicknesses by the grace of Jesus
Close proximity to Jesus. She was extremely close to Jesus. This closeness was acquired after she won an epic battle with the forces of evil for several days. She was a young woman at that time. It started with carnal temptations. She fought them with great fortitude. It progressed to men and women performing vile sexual acts. Foul acts and obscene words were presented to her mind. Throngs of shameless crowds invited her to join them. She would retreat to church, where she would get some help, but not complete protection.
One night a great light appeared and lit the room. Bleeding Jesus Christ, nailed to the cross, was in that vision and her battle ended . She bitterly complained for not helping her.
To be continued