Written by a scholar of Catherine’s spirituality, this website offers an in-depth discussion of key themes of Catherine’s teaching and wisdom about advancement in the spiritual journey through a relationship with God.
The site offers context for understanding Catherine’s medieval spirituality. For there are many legends about Catherine’s life, and many ways of interpreting her mysticism. You will find insights based on solid research about Catherine’s life, her writings and the history and culture of her day.
This book-length website is intended for the spiritual seeker wishing to explore Catherine’s life and spiritual path more deeply, for spiritual guides and pastors, and for students of St. Catherine of Siena’s spirituality. It will also be of interest to students of medieval women mystics and some content may be of interest to scholars. [About author]
Catherine lived from 1347-1380 in Siena, at that time an Italian City state. Like most girls then, she was not educated so she did not know how to read until her late teens and may have learned to write late in life. [See Catherine’s life and spiritual writings – education and formation]. Because of this, her writings are really dictated texts, written down by scribes. She dictated as she reflected out loud in the colloquial speech of a young Sienese woman. She used images and metaphors understood in her culture—not obvious to ours—and sometimes unique to her. Catherine expressed herself in emotional ways that would seem odd and dramatic to an Anglo 21st century world. Accordingly, reading her spiritual writings and understanding the depth and complexity of her wisdom requires historical and cultural understanding about her and her day. This website offers such guidance to understanding Catherine’s spiritual journey and her teaching about spiritual growth and development.
The site presents historical research that has not been integrated into most non scholarly accounts about Catherine’s life and lived experience. Accordingly, this website offers new insights about St. Catherine.