Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saint Catherine of Bologna, Patron of Artists

After spending the past five days showing you some terrific (and just a bit off-the-wall) artwork created by my #4 son when he was a teenager, I thought I would devote today's post to a Patron Saint of Artists, Catherine of Bologna.  She herself was quite a talented artist, as you can see from this lovely painting that is attributed to her, an icon of the Madonna and Child.
So many saints come from the ranks of rich and powerful families, but they turn their backs on material wealth and devote their lives to doing God's work.  Catherine of Bologna was just such an individual.  Born Catherine d'Vigri in 1413 in Bologna, Italy, she came from an aristocratic family.  She was raised at the court of the Marquis Nicholas IV, Duke of Ferrara, because her father was his ambassador.  Catherine could have lived a very privileged life, but instead became a cloistered nun and together with three other women of Ferrara founded a monastery of the Order of Poor Clares.  She later returned to her native Bologna and became the abbess of a monastery of the same Order, where she lived until her early death at 49.  Her body remains incorrupt; it is on display behind glass, seated upright and dressed in her religious habit, at the Chapel of the Poor Clares in Bologna.

I am always profoundly amazed, inspired, and impressed by people such as Saint Catherine of Bologna--people who could have chosen easy, pampered lives and instead chose to take a much more difficult path.  It is no wonder that such self-sacrifice is rewarded with a crown in Heaven!

If you are an artist, and you're struggling with a piece that just isn't turning out the way you want it to, you can always try praying to this holy Patron Saint of Artists.  Isn't it nice to know that you have an unseen helper who is only a prayer away?

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