The feast of St. Catherine of Siena is on April 30, according to the traditional calendar. St. Catherine lived during a difficult time in the Church; indeed, it was not unlike our own. I thought it would be highly appropriate for us all to pray a novena in honor of St. Catherine for the Church, starting tomorrow, Sunday, which is nine days to April 30.
The following prayer is taken from St. Catherine’s Dialogue (translated by Algar Thorold); in it St. Catherine prays fervently for the Church. May we join our prayers with hers and ask her to intercede for us in behalf of the Church.
Oh! Eternal God! Oh! Light above every other light, from whom issues all light! Oh! Supreme and Eternal Fire, Abyss of Charity! I beg of Thee that Thou wilt do mercy to the world and to the holy Church. I pray Thee to fulfil that which Thou didst cause me to ask Thee. Alas! what a wretched and sorrowful soul is mine, the cause of all these evils. Do not put off any longer Thy merciful designs towards the world, but descend and fulfil the desire of Thy servants.
Thou causest them to cry in order to hear their voices! Thy truth told us to cry out, and we should be answered; to knock, and it would be opened to us; to beg, and it would be given to us. Oh! Eternal Father, Thy servants do cry out to Thy mercy; do Thou then reply.
I know well that mercy is Thine own attribute, wherefore Thou cast not destroy it or refuse it to him who asks for it. Thy servants knock at the door of Thy truth, because in the truth of Thy only-begotten Son they know the ineffable love which Thou hast for man, wherefore the fire of Thy love ought not and cannot refrain from opening to him who knocks with perseverance. Wherefore open, unlock, and break the hardened hearts of Thy creatures, not for their sakes who do not knock, but on account of Thy infinite goodness, and through love of Thy servants who knock at Thee for their sakes. Grant the prayer of those, Eternal Father who, as Thou seest, stand at the door of Thy truth and pray. For what do they pray? For with the Blood of this door–Thy truth–hast Thou washed our iniquities and destroyed the stain of Adam’s sin. The Blood is ours, for Thou hast made it our bath, wherefore Thou canst not deny it to any one who truly asks for it. Give, then, the fruit of Thy Blood to Thy creatures. Place in the balance the price of the blood of Thy Son, so that the infernal devils may not carry off Thy lambs. Thou art the Good Shepherd who, to fulfil Thy obedience, laid down His life for Thy lambs, and made for us a bath of His Blood.
That Blood is what Thy hungry servants beg of Thee at this door, begging Thee through it to do mercy to the world, and to cause Thy holy Church to bloom with the fragrant flowers of good and holy pastors, who by their sweet odour shall extinguish the stench of the putrid flowers of sin. Thou hast said, Eternal Father, that through the love which Thou has for Thy rational creatures, and the prayers and the many virtues and labours of Thy servants, Thou wouldest do mercy to the world, and reform the Church, and thus give us refreshment; wherefore do not delay, but turn the eye of Thy mercy towards us, for Thou must first reply to us before we can cry out with the voice of Thy mercy. Open the door of Thy inestimable love which Thou hast given us through the door of Thy Word."
St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us and for the Church!
Do print this out and pray it.