Saint Catherine of Sienna and the Holy Foreskin

Hi! I think I posted this before but I wasn’t sure where it went… anyway, I read somewhere about mystical marriages between Our Lord and chosen saints… St. catherine of Sienna, St. Faustina, St Margaret Mary Alacoque… there must be 70+ of them with “mystical marriages”, but according to what I read, St. Catherine of Siena’s mystical marriage was different in by way of the ring which was given to her by Jesus… not of gold, but of the holy foreskin taken during circumcision when He was an Infant! How true is this? and if ever, any comments on significance of this? Thank you so much!!!

I’ve never heard anything like this even remotely suggested anywhere, although I know among the weird and wonderful relics venerated during the Middle Ages, apparently, was the Holy Foreskin.

Where did you read it, and what evidence did the author give in support of the assertion that this happened to St Catherine?:confused:

What nonsense. Who would be so gullible to believe something like that!!


P.T. Barnum was right. Not referring to Catherine of Sienna, but the people who made up and believed that story about you.


Actually I did hear something to that effect a while ago - so we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss this. That said, St. Catherine did write in one of her letters (Letter 221, to Sister Bartolomea della Seta): “Ben vedi tu che tu sei sposa, e che egli t’ha sposata, e te e ogni creatura; e non con anello d’ argento, ma con anello della carne sua” (Well seest thou that thou art a bride, and that He has wedded thee and every creature, not with a ring of silver, but with the ring of His flesh), and she did mention in another letter that “Christ in His circumcision showed that He would wed the whole human race.

Well, thanks to insomnia, I just HAD to google this. Turns out to be true as far as St. Catherine writing about this. It was in her Dialog of Divine Providence. It should be reminded that this ring was invisible to everyone except herself.

Religious sentiment was such that hagiographic artists preferred NOT to depict her with a bloody, fleshy ring, but substituted a gold and gem encrusted ring. But her writings say otherwise. Perhaps she meant it symbolically.

Turns out this is lumped into the various cult/followings of the Holy Foreskin. Fascinating stuff.

Lots of information with what appear to be good citations from this person’s college paper St. Catherine of Sienna. Not sure if I know how to insert a link correctly for this forum??

Hmmm … I wouldn’t read quite so much into it.

The ‘wedding’ could easily refer to the sealing of the New Covenant between God and man by Christ’s shedding of His blood for mankind - a process begun in the circumcision, it is true, but completed on the Cross.

And note ‘WOULD wed’, since the process was not complete until the crucifixion. Not ‘has wed’ as it would be if His circumcision was the focal point.

This is true. Popular religious sentiment at the time was quite different from today’s standards. St. Catherine also wrote about “nursing” at the side of Jesus, and lots of what would be considered sexualized blood symbolisms. This stuff can come across very differently to 21st century eyes and ears and must be considered in the context of the times.

But the point is that it isn’t just “stuff and nonsense” that only the gullible would believe. There is some seed of truth in the reference to the ring being foreskin. She DID claim to have been given a ring of betrothal by Jesus Himself, and she DID reference the ring of betrothal of all who are betrothed to Our Lord to be made of His foreskin. How literal she was being is up to interpretation.

Of interest is that most Catholic sites skim over this quote entirely, but the non-Catholic (or anti-Catholic) sites seem to enjoy quoting and paraphrasing this tidbit.

I would agree; her language sounds much more symbolic than literal.


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