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Catherine of Siena

Item Number: 23582

Catalog Code: 97815861751844-DIS

Catherine of Siena

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Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset, Complete and Unabridged


Read by Sydney Penny

Sigrid Undset’s Catherine of Siena is critically acclaimed as one of the best biographies ever of this well known and amazing 14th century saint. Famed for her historical fiction, which won her the Nobel Prize for literature in 1928 for her masterpiece Kristin Lavransdatter, Undset based this factual work on primary sources, her own experiences living in Italy, and her profound understanding of the human heart.

One of the greatest novelists of the 20th century, Undset was no stranger to hagiography. Her meticulous research of medieval times acquainted her with the holy men and women produced by the Age of Faith. Their exemplary lives left a deep impression upon her, an impression Undset credited as one of the main reasons for her conversion to the Catholic Church in 1924.
Catherine of Siena was a particular favorite of Undset, who was a Third Order Dominican like Catherine. An extraordinarily active, intelligent, and courageous woman, Catherine at an early age devoted herself to the love of God. The intensity of her prayer, sacrifice, and service to the poor won her a reputation for holiness and wisdom, and she was called upon to make peace between warring nobles. Believing that peace in Italy could be achieved only if the Pope, then living in France, returned to Rome, Catherine boldly traveled to Avignon to meet with Pope Gregory XI.

With sensitivity to the zealous love of God and man that permeated the life of Saint Catherine, Undset presents a most moving and memorable portrait of one of the greatest women of all time, and a Doctor of the Church.

In this audio book, actress Sydney Penny provides a wonderful reading of the complete text of Undset’s acclaimed work. Complete and unabridged, 9 CDs.

Sydney Penny is a well-known actress who has starred in numerous films, movies and TV series, including Hidden Places and All My Children. She starred as St. Bernadette of Lourdes in the popular movies Bernadette and the Passion of Bernadette.

Sigrid Undset, a renowned literary author and one of the most acclaimed novelists of the 20th century, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1928 for her epic work Kristin Lavransdatter.

"One of the most extraordinary writers of the 20th century combines her literary genius and her faith to compose the biography of one of the most extraordinary saints of all time. Sigrid Undset's beautiful, spare prose gives us a living St. Catherine of Sienna, gripping our imagination and expanding the soul's comprehension of the mysterious works of God."  
— Michael D. O'Brien, Author, Father Elijah

"Undset writes Catherine of Siena's biography as both an historian and a believer. Steeped in research on the Middle Ages through her writing of Kristin Lavransdatter, for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, she views the fascinating Catherine in context of the many troubles in Italy and in the Church of the day. Like Joan of Arc a mysterious figure in many ways, Catherine was clearly raised up by God at a particular moment to mediate this strife and help direct the future of the Church. Truly a "mystic's mystic" as she has been called, Catherine can often seem too touched by the supernatural for us to relate to her. By placing her in her historic and cultural context, however, Undset's biography makes this otherworldly saint alive for us today. "
—Mary Reichardt, Professor of Catholic studies, University of St. Thomas




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St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 4/29
Tridentine Calendar - 4/30

Patron Of: Artists, Fire, Firefighters, Illness, Leather Workers, Nurses, Philosophers, Scribes, Secretaries, Stenographers, Tongue

    Youngest child in a large family. At the age of 6 she had a vision in which Jesus appeared and blessed her. Her parents wanted her to marry, but she became a Dominican tertiary. Mystic. Stigmatist. Received a vision in which she was in a mystical marriage with Christ, and the Infant Christ presented her with a wedding ring. Counselor to Pope Gregory XI and Pope Urban VI. Proclaimed Doctor of the Church on 4 October 1970.

    25 March 1347 at Siena, Tuscany, Italy

    29 April 1380 of a mysterious and painful illness that came on without notice, and was never properly diagnosed

    July 1461 by Pope Pius II

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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