On Thursday, The Holy Father sent a message for the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena, patroness of Italy and co-patroness of Europe.
A member of the Dominican Third Order, St. Catherine of Siena was canonized in 1461 by Pope Pius II. In 1970, Pope Paul VI named her a doctor of the Church. Many people remember St. Catherine of Siena for her role in ensuring the return of the papacy to Rome. She also prayed for unity in the church.
The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent the message on behalf of the Holy Father, according to Vatican News. The message was addressed to Cardinal Augusto Paolo Lojudice, of Siena-Colle di Val d’Elsa-Montalcino. The Pope began his message by sending greetings to the authorities and to all the people attending the celebrations on April 29.
Pope Francis thanked God for gifting the church and humanity with such a wonderful woman and a believer who dedicated her life to the work of God. The Holy Father said he hoped that as we celebrate the 560th anniversary of St. Catherine’s canonization, many Christians will follow her steps as a “joyful and fervent witness to faith and charity in order to promote a civilization of love.”
The Holy Father concluded his message by declaring God’s favor on all the people taking part in the celebrations.