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St Catherine and St Teresa

It's hard to resist comparing the saint of today, St Catherine of Siena, with our St Teresa of Avila. Two utterly indomitable women who needed great courage and perseverance to do what they did. St Catherine spoke hard truths to the great ones of this world while carrying out a ministry to the sick and dying - especially hazardous during the plague years when she even helped dig the graves of those who had died. Teresa corresponded with the Spanish King, although her own work was confined to the reform of a religious Order. Both saints wrote books. They were declared Doctors of the Church together by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Of particular interest to us Seculars (Tertiaries) however is the fact that Catherine was a Tertiary like us - but of the Dominicans. She was leader of a group that formed around her - they were known as the Caterinati. Finally, like our Edith Stein, she was declared by Pope St John Paul II to be a co-Patron of Europe.

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