Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor – April 29th
St Catherine of Siena (d. 1380, Rome, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy; Siena, Italy; Venice, Italy)
First Class Relics
Santa Maria sopra Minerva
(Our Lady Above Minerva)
Via del Beato Angelico 35
*This church is near the Pantheon.
*The body of St Catherine of Siena rests under the main altar. She spent the last two years of her life in Rome before her passing in 1380. A devotional chapel made out of the room where she died can be visited by entering the sacristy. Originally this room was located a few blocks away at Via Santa Chiara, 14. However, in the 1630s it was reconstructed and brought here.
*Along the walls of the Capranica Chapel, located just to the right of the main sanctuary, are a number of frescoes by Giovanni de’ Vecchi that depict scenes from the life of St Catherine of Siena. Her remains rested in this chapel from 1430 to 1855.
Basilica di San Domenico (Saint Dominic’s Basilica)
Piazza San Domenico
53100 Siena, Italy
*The head of St Catherine of Siena rests within a chapel on the right side of the nave.
*Also a finger of the saint is venerated within a reliquary case just to the right of this chapel. This relic has traditionally been used to impart a blessing on the Italian military.
Santi Giovanni e Paolo (Saints John and Paul)
30122 Venice, Italy
*A relic of the foot of St Catherine of Siena rests near the Chapel of St Dominic on the right side of nave.
Monastero della Madonna del Rosario a Monte Mario
(Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary at Monte Mario)
Via Alberto Cadlolo 51
*This monastery is on Monte Mario northwest of the Aurelian Walls.
*The left hand of St Catherine of Siena rests within the church at this monastery.
Churches of Honor
Santuario di Santa Caterina (Sanctuary of Saint Catherine)
Via Costa di Sant’Antonio 6
53100, Siena, Italy
*This church is built over the family home of St Catherine of Siena. She was born and raised at this location.
Churches of Honor in Rome
Cappella del Transito di Santa Caterina da Siena
(Chapel of the Transit of St Catherine of Siena)
Palazzo Santa Chiara
Via Santa Chiara, 14
*This small chapel is located within the Palazzo Santa Chiara just a few blocks from the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. It marks the very spot where St Catherine of Siena died. The original walls and floor have been moved to Santa Maria sopra Minerva as noted previously. However, in 1638 the room was renovated and made into the chapel as seen today. Ask at the front desk for access.
Santa Sabina (Saint Sabina)
Piazza Pietro d'Illiria 1
*This church is located on the Aventine Hill just south of Circo Massimo.
*The large chapel on the left side of the nave is dedicated to St Catherine of Siena. The painting above the altar in this chapel is entitled Madonna of the Rosary and was completed by Giovanni Battista Salvi in 1643.
Santa Francesca Romana (Saint Frances of Rome)
Piazza di Santa Francesca Romana 4
*This church is next to the Roman Forum.
*To the right of the sanctuary is the tomb of Pope Gregory XI (d. 1378). He returned the papal seat to Rome after the exile in Avignon. St Catherine of Siena (d. 1380) was instrumental in persuading him to return. A relief depicting her involvement can be seen on the tomb.
* The remains of St Frances of Rome (d. 1440) are in the crypt below the main sanctuary. Her skeleton is vested in the habit of the Oblate Sisters.
*Two flagstones within the right transept of the church are said to bear the imprints of the knees of St Peter. According to a legend the magician Simon Magus levitated in the Roman Forum to demonstrate that his powers were superior to those of Peter. In response, Peter fell to the ground in prayer causing the knee imprints in the stone. Simon Magus then immediately fell to his death.
Santa Caterina da Siena in Via Giulia
(Saint Catherine of Siena on Via Giulia)
Via Giulia 162/A
*This church is located on Via Giulia between the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the Tiber River. It is not open often.
*The painting in the main sanctuary depicts the mystical marriage of St Catherine of Siena.
Santa Caterina a Magnanapoli (Saint Catherine at Magnanapoli)
Salita del Grillo 37
*This church is east of Piazza Venezia and it is dedicated to St Catherine of Siena. It serves the Italian military.