2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Catherine of Genoa
The scion of a noble Ligurian family, St. Catherine (1447-1510) was the youngest child of James Fieschi and Francesca di Negro. She is said to have had, as a child, monastic asperations, which her family quashed when her father died in 1463. She was married to Giuliano Adorno, a spendthrift social equal. For ten years, the couple led the life expected of people of their class, and that left them poor. A mystical experience reawakened Catherine's fervor, and she eventually inspired her husband, who became a Franciscan tertiary, to reform his life. In 1479, the couple moved into the Pammatone hospital, of which Catherine became the director in 1490. She nearly died of the plague in 1493 and resigned her post three years later because of ill-health. Two years after Giuliano's death, Catherine met Don Cattaneo Marabotto, her spiritual director. During the last nine years of her life, she had several mystical visions and was quite ill. The two works for which she is known, Spiritual Dialogues and the Treatise on Purgatory, were originally published in 1551 as her Life and Doctrine. These are based on records of her teachings, and some doubt her authorship for this reason. Benedict XIV canonized her in 1737.
Karen Rae Keck
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