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Catherine was born on 8 September 1413 to Benvenuta Mammolini of Bologna and Giovanni Vigri part of the upper-class society. She was raised in Niccolo III‘s court as a lady-in-waiting to his wife Parisina Malatesta and became lifelong friends with his natural daughter Margherita d’Este. During this time she received some education in reading, writing, music, playing the viola, and had access to illuminated manuscripts in the d’Este Court library.
After Niccolo III’s execution of Parisina d’Este for infidelity in 1426, Catherine left court and joined a lay community of beguines living a semi-religious life and following the Augustinian rule. In 1431 the beguine house was converted into the Observant Poor Clare convent of Corpus Domini, which grew from 12 women in 1431 to 144 women by the end of the century. For most of her life, Catherine lived at Corpus Domini, Ferrara, serving as Mistress of Novices. She was a model of piety and reported experiencing miracles and several visions of Christ, the Virgin Mary, Thomas Becket, and Joseph, as well as future events, such as the fall of Constantinople in 1453. She wrote a number of religious treatises, lauds, sermons, and copied and illustrated her own breviary. Catherine’s best-known text is Seven Spiritual Weapons Necessary for Spiritual Warfare which she appears to have first written in 1438 and then rewritten and augmented between 1450 and 1456.
In 1455 the Franciscans and the governors of Bologna requested that she become abbess of a new convent, which was to be established under the name of Corpus Domini in Bologna. She left Ferrara in July 1456 with 12 sisters to start the new community and remained abbess there until her death on 9 March 1463.
Catherine of Bologna was an Italian Poor Clare nun, writer, teacher, mystic, artist, and saint. The patron saint of artists and against temptations, Catherine de’ Vigri was venerated for nearly three centuries in her native Bologna before being formally canonized in 1712 by Pope Clement XI. Her feast day is 9 March.
- Arthur 2018, pp. 71–76.
- Lombardi, P. Teodosio (1975). I Francescani a Ferrara, IV (Bologna: Dehone), pp. 63–277.
- “Seven Spiritual Weapons”. BEIC (in Italian).
*Information accessed Wikipedia.org 08 March 2022.
ALSO ON THIS DAY
1661 – Cardinal Jules Mazarin. He had been noted for diplomacy and high taxation while he served as First Minister of France; died in Vincennes. His delegates helped negotiate the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
1831 – Charles Finney successfully concluded a six-month series of meetings at the Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York. The city was dramatically transformed by his preaching. One hundred thousand people were reportedly converted.
1948 – Hymn-writer Civilla Durfee Martin whose many gospel songs include “God Will Take Care of You”, “One of God’s Days”, “Going Home”, “The Old Fashioned Way”, and “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” died in Atlanta, Georgia.
1954 – Pentecostal evangelist Tommy Hicks arrives in Argentina and requests a large stadium. Local ministers, who have had little success winning souls, try to dissuade him, saying it is impossible to obtain a large stadium and more impossible to fill it. Hicks insists and is able to obtain consent from Argentina’s president Juan Perón after healing him of a skin condition. After weeks of healing services in April and May, a larger stadium will be needed to handle the huge crowds.