Santuario di Santa Caterina, Siena

4.4
#6 of 50 in Historic Sites in Siena
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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  • St. Catherine is one of Europe’s patron Saints, this interesting shrine is the home where she lived. Inside the chapel, it’s forbidden to take pics. 
    St. Catherine is one of Europe’s patron Saints, this interesting shrine is the home where she lived. Inside the chapel, it’s forbidden to take pics.  more »
  • We stopped at the Casa di Santa Caterine di Siena. It was early evening in November and the courtyard was in shadow. We stopped and quietly admired the Chapel. 
    We stopped at the Casa di Santa Caterine di Siena. It was early evening in November and the courtyard was in shadow. We stopped and quietly admired the Chapel.  more »
Google
  • Serene religious place at the border of the city center of Siena. This place is worth to pay a visit when you pass by. I was here in September 2021. Nice architecture and beautiful building !
  • In addition to St. Francis of Assisi Italians have another patron saint as a nation, namely Saint Catherine of Siena. A woman who, in her short earthly and great spiritual life, bore all the hardships and problems of the Church of her time. The shrine of St. Catharine of Siena presented us with the environment in which she lived during the 14th century. The native house of St. Caterina of Siena was transformed into a sanctuary in 1464 and there you can find many signs about her life. Catherine Benincas was born on 25 March 1347 in Siena, Fontebranda Street. She was the penultimate of the 25 children born in the large family as a twin sister with Giovanna that shortly after the birth dies. Her father Giacomo Benincasa and mother Lapa Piacenti were a wealthy family. They were engaged in dyeing fabric and leather. Siena was a rich city, and their wealth was based on the wool trade. Katarina since her childhood has been searching for silence, prayer, solitude, and regularly visits the nearby Basilica of Saint Dominic held by the Dominican Fathers. At only six years old (1353) she had her first vision. Over the roof of St. Dominic's Basilica, she saw a smiling Christ seated on a throne in papal garb accompanied by the apostles Peter and Paul and St. John the Evangelist. She decided to join the Dominicans, but as the family objected, she decided to cut her hair in protest. In isolation, she sought clarity and a path for three years. She watched God’s heart carefully to learn how to live according to God’s plans. Living in great intimacy with Jesus, in one vision Jesus instructed her to consecrate herself to the apostolate.Thus, she spent the rest of her life caring for the sick of the plague, visiting the poor, reconciling quarreling relatives, traveling, pursuing high politics and reconciling citys i states, advocating for the restoration of the Church and the return of Pope Gregory XI to Rome from Avignon. She found strength in the Eucharist. She did not eat anything for days, only receiving the Eucharist. So small, illiterate, St. Catharine became a Church scholar and co-protector of Europe: building in herself, in a deep dark cell, a place of encounter with God. She's worthy of awe. The House-Sanctuary consists of various environments, on the right the Chiesa del Crocifisso (Church of the Crucifix) (the artwork from which the St. Caterina received the stigmata in the Chiesa di Santa Cristina in Pisa in 1375), on the left the Oratorio Superiore (Upper Oratory) with beautiful majolica floor, the Oratorio della Camera frescoed in 1896 by Alessandro Franchi, and the Chiesa di Santa Caterina in Fontebranda, with a wooden statue by Neroccio and paintings by Della Pacchia and Sodoma.

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