Saint Catherine of Bologna Feast Day 9th May

saint Catherine of BolognaCaterina Vigri,(1413- 1463) was born into a noble family of Bologna,and her father was a diplomat at the court of Nicholas III. This  assured her of the best humanist education of that time. We know she learned Latin , music,and the art of manuscript illumination. When her father died  she joined a group of women following the Augustinian Rule ,some of whom wanted to join the reform of Saint Colette. Because they could not agree the bishop disbanded the group in 1431 but three years later the pope absolved them and they were allowed to follow Colette’s reformed Rule in Ferrara under the influence of Saint Bernardine of Siena.  She was novice mistress for many years during which she wrote The Seven Spiritual weapons. She also produced frescoes,paintings and manuscripts. Art scholars generally refer to her by her family name Caterina Vigri.  by 1450 the community had grown to 85 sisters and Catherine was sent on foundation to her home town of Bologna where she remained until her death in 1463 and where her incorrupt body is preserved. She was skilled at illumination and Pope PiusIX once owned a manuscript illuminated by her, now in the library of Oxford University. Canonised by ClementXI in 1712, she is the patron of artists, musicians. The viola or violeta she used to play is still preserved in the monastery.

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