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Daily Catholic Question

Is there a patron saint for the sterile?

The National Enquirer carried an article about a saint named Maria Francesca.... Who was this saint?

In Butler's Lives of the Saints and in other dictionaries of the saints you will find this saint under St. Mary Frances of Naples. Apparently her father, Francis Gallo, was not only hot-tempered but also rough and brutal to both Mary Frances and her mother.

Eventually he was persuaded to allow her to become a Franciscan tertiary. In the beginning she lived at home and devoted herself to prayer and works of piety. Later she took over the management of a priest's household. She was something of a mystic and mystical phenomena were associated with her.

She is said to have received the stigmata—the wounds of Jesus—in her own body.

What is her connection with sterile women? The Enquirer seems to indicate that many miracles involving impossible pregnancies were worked through her intercession previous to her canonization in 1867.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Friday, November 23, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 11/22/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 11/24/2012


Catherine of Siena: The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time. 
<p>She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace, and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation. </p><p>She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer and austerity. Gradually a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374. </p><p>Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope </p><p>In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children" and was canonized in 1461. </p><p>Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1939, she and Francis of Assisi were declared co-patrons of Italy. Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila doctors of the Church in 1970. Her spiritual testament is found in <i>The Dialogue</i>.</p> American Catholic Blog The gates of hell cannot withstand the power of heaven. Gates of sin melt in the presence of saving grace; gates of death fall in the presence of eternal life; gates of falsehood collapse in the presence of living truth; gates of violence are flattened in the presence of divine love. These are the tools with which Christ has equipped his Church.

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