Missionary Saints – St. Catherine of Siena

Seamstress of the Body of Christ 

Missionaries mend. Missionaries, who participate in the Redemptive work of Christ, mend the rips in the relationship between God and humanity. Missionaries also mend the relationships among people.
On April 29 the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church. Catherine lived during the time of the Great Schism of the Church in 1378. Loyalties were divided between three Popes, tearing the unity of the Church asunder.

Catherine of Siena was the great seamstress of the Church, mending the gashes in the mystical Body of Christ. She permitted God to use her not only as the seamstress, but as the needle and thread as well. She became the needle, piercing hearts with the truth. She became the tread holding frayed fabric together, knitting and knotting members of the Church to Christ and to one another. Grace pushed her through, shuttling her back in forth, in courageous dialogues to reunite the Church under one Pope.

A medic stitches together flesh that has be torn open, closing gaping wounds so the body can heal and protecting it from further infection. Stitches enable the tissue to grow back together, creating new networks of muscle fibers. Catherine truly was a medic to a Church in crisis.

Each of us through our baptism participates in the mission of Christ. We read in John 20:21 “As the Father sends me, so I send you.” We are sent forth on a mission of reconciliation. How can I build up the Church, renew and strengthen her unity? For it seems the seams are pulling apart in places. Do my words and actions unite or divide? Each us can mend the holes in the tapestry of the Church through active holiness. Holiness is the only way to close the holes. How is God calling and sending you forth to sew hearts and minds together in truth and in love so as to mend relationships in the Church today? Jesus’ final prayer included this petition: Father may they all be one as we are one, so that world may believe. (See Jn 17:21) May the Holy Spirit, the embodiment of unitive love, bind us ever closer to one another and to the Father through the Son.