St. Catherine of Sienna

Can anyone recommend a good book on the life of St. Catherine of Sienna? I am interested in one that provides a solid overview of her life. I have found several so far:

St. Catherine of Siena : The Story of the Girl Who Saw Saints in the Sky - Mary Fabyan Windeatt, Helen Louise Beccard (Illustrator);
Lay Siege to Heaven : A Novel About Saint Catherine of Siena -Louis De Wohl
Catherine of Siena : Passion for the Truth Compassion for Humanity : Selected Spiritual Writings Mary O’Driscoll
The Prayers of Catherine of Siena - Suzanne Noffke (Editor)
Catherine of Siena: A Biography Anne Baldwin.
Legend -The original biography written by her priest.

…but I can’t decide if one of these or another would be best. Any help is much appreciated.

I have not read a biography on her. I have read and highly recommend The Dialogue, which is her writings of the lessons she learned from her conversations with Jesus. It is an amazing book. I read the version translated by Suzanne Noffke. So much information but yet so accessible, and easy to remember and inspirational.

Even when I think about the book, I feel upflifted and inspired again. The only book that has inspired me more has been the Bible. Teresa of Avila is a close second to Catherine for me, and but Catherine covers any topic you will ever encounter in life…but far less dry than some one like Francis de Sales (forgive me for saying this; he has great adivice too, but his work reads like a mannual).


Thanks for the suggestion. I ordered it, as well as a book with daily readings from St. Faustina’s diary. I’m sending both of them to my non-Catholic sister - at her request! I pray that these materials will be the catalyst for God’s Grace.

I loved both books, for diffierent reasons. Catherine of Siena had more applicability for individual situations in lie; I love her conversationa about religions. She also stresses much about how much God loves us and the obligation of charity towards neighbours, as repayment fo our love. Actually, she talks about lots, paryer, marriage, how people benefit form different spiritual practises dependning on their needs.

I think I wrote this before, but she inspired me so much, that even thinking about the book, months after I read it, I feel inspired still by the recollection. It’s great for non-Catholics, beucase it speaks much to individuals and opportunities in everyone’s life. There are of course references to mass and confesions (but more about the nature of contrition for sins than the actual sacament), but it is not full with speicic Catholic practices that might amke the non-initiated go “huh?” Although there is a chapter on priests; their obligations and how God is aware of those who have severe shortcomings and he will deal with them, bu thsi can refer to any religious leader.

As for Faustina’s Diary, the role of the Catholic Chruch is much more prominent, as she writes about her struggles in trying to get the Divine Office dveotion established, and talks about the way she interacts with people in her community. There are so many great messages of love and God’s mercy, but I wonder how much on-Catholics would believe them since they are private revelations and some are so skeptical of such things (even among the Catholics).

That is so great that your sister asked for them and you are sending them to her! Sounds like a great opportunity to bring her itno the Church. I think they are wonderful works to help her experience the richness of the Catholic faith.

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