208. ST. Catherine of Siena. Part thirteen
We were discussing the extraordinary vision that Semia was made to see just at the time of Saint Catherine’s death. A beautiful small girl with facial features of Catherine emerged from a silver tabernacle and joined Jesus, Blessed Virgin and other virgins. Semia had said to herself that if the dream was a creation of the Devil she would miss the Mass and face the anger of her sons for dinner being late. All for oversleeping on account of the dream.
She did not miss the Mass, her sons were very pleased by the delicious food, and she was confronted by a genuinely supernatural event of cooked dinner!
She found the door of Catherine’s house closed. She was told by somebody that Catherine had gone to church. As a matter of fact the body of Catherine had been secretly removed from the house and kept in the chapel behind iron railing in the church of Santa Maria. This was done to avoid the swarm of crowds who would want to touch the dead person’s clothes and feet. They were afraid that the clothes and body may be torn to pieces. Although they tried to keep the secret but soon the news spread in Rome that Saint Catherine had died.
Semia was going home. She happened to pass that church and seeing the crowd asked the reason. She was told that Catherine had died and her body was inside. She shrieked in grief and cursed the women who had misled her. The women apologized and told the reason. Semia was mollified. She then told the crowd that she witnessed the passing of Catherine and her emergence from the silver tabernacle, in a dream. They realized that she was shown this vision to witness the events that transpired as her soul left her body and how Catherine was exalted. So, Semia was the agent chosen to tell it to the world and thus enhance her glory.
There are dozens of miracles of cure of sick, after her death. Here are some that have been narrated by Raymond in his book. Raymond was not in Rome at the time of her death. People told him these events when he tried to collect them for posterity. Catherine could not be buried for three days due to the swarm of people around her dead body.
1. A nun by the name of Domenica could not use her one arm for six months due to some disease. She could not reach her corpse. She, therefore, gave her veil to somebody to touch the virgin’s body. When she got it back she put it on her arm. Her arm was immediately cured.
2. A four year old boy had sinews of his neck contracted due to some disease. Catherine’s arm was made to touch his neck and her veil was wrapped around his neck. After an interval his neck was completely cured.
3. Lucio di Cannarola’s one leg was affected by weakness. With great difficulty he could drag himself with a crutch. He placed virgin’s hand on her leg. He felt an immediate improvement and his leg got cured before he left the church.
4. A girl named Ratozola had terrible leprosy of the face. There was a stinking mass of tissue at her nose and upper lip. She forced herself to the proximity of Catherine’s body against the resistance of people. She touched her diseased parts to virgin’s hands, feet and even her face. She got rid of the horrible disease after sometime and her face became absolutely normal.
5. Ciprio and his wife Lella had a daughter who suffered from consumption. No treatment had worked. The parents brought the girl to Catherine. The girl touched her veil and some beads which had been in contact with the virgin’s body. She got cured.
6. A Roman citizen by the name of Antonio de Lello was passing by the church. When he heard of the miracles he prayed to the virgin to help him get better. He promised a votive offering if he got better. He got better. He fulfilled his promise and told of the miracle to others.
7. A pious woman by the name of Paola was Catherine’s friend and hostess. She was sick and bedridden for four months. She asked people to bring her something which had been in touch with Catherine. An object was found. She touched it in the evening and next morning got out of the bed without assistance. Soon she was free of her sickness.
She told the story to Raymond herself after his return to Rome. The power of God did not decrease as her body was put in the tomb.
8. Giovanni di Neri had a little son who never learned to walk because he could not stand up. The boy was carried to her tomb and put over it. His feet and legs became strong and he could stand up and walk.
9. Giovanni di Tozzo had a bad eye disease. He made a vow to the holy virgin Catherine of Siena. He was immediately cured. He went to her tomb and described the gift he had received.
To be continued