The true story
How did Catherine’s head and body wind up separated? Because that part is true, they are not together, which honestly saddens me. I’m a big believer in our body staying together, even in death. But sometimes there are accidents, as in this case.
When Catherine was first buried it was in the churchyard of Santa Maria Minerva. Many people went there to pray for her intercession and many miracles were said to have occurred. Fr. Raimondo of Capua, her confessor (and eventual biographer), thought it would be better for her coffin to be in the church, protected from the weather. It is believed that this is when her head separated from her body. Her head was put into a bronze reliquary and taken to Siena. The people of Siena carried the reliquary in a procession to the Basilica of St. Dominic and placed it in a chapel. (information is taken from Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset)
Catherine knew both joy and suffering in her life. Her strength came from the close union she had with God. That union was built on prayer. That is one lesson I want to take from Catherine’s life. Build your life on prayer. It is what we need to defend ourselves against the difficulties of life, against every enemy, including the enemy. God wanted Catherine to know that; I think it’s important for us to know that and live it as well.
Day 4 of the Novena
Here is the link to day 4 of our novena.