Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (6: 60-69) in which Jesus, acknowledging the complexity of what he is teaching, asks the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away, too?’ to which Simon Peter responds ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life and we believe’. After the Gospel, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Catherine of Siena, whose memorial we celebrate today.Fr Paul says Catherine was born in Siena and, seeking perfection, entered the Third Order of the Dominicans when she was still in her teens. In 1370 she was commanded by a vision to leave her secluded life and enter the public life of the world. She wrote letters to many major public figures and carried on a long correspondence with Pope Gregory XI, urging him to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States. She burned with the love of God and her neighbour. As an ambassador she brought peace and harmony between cities. She fought hard to defend the liberty and rights of the Popes and did much for the renewal of religious life. She also dictated books full of sound doctrine and spiritual inspiration. Catherine died on 29 April 1380. In 1970 Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church. Today, Fr Paul says, we ask: St Catherine of Sienna…Pray for us!
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