My Catholic Family – Saint Catherine of Siena

My Catholic Family – Saint Catherine of Siena


[music] Narrator: My
Catholic Family [music] St. Catherine of Siena
and the Passion [music] Sarah: Mommy? Mom: What is it, honey? Sarah: I have to ask you something. Mom: Yes? Sarah: Why do we Catholics kiss the crucifix so many times? Mom: Why are you asking, Sarah? Sarah: We even make the Sign of the Cross, as if we also wanted to on the cross. And I don’t want to be on the cross, Mommy. I want to be happy, have fun, you know? Mom: Do you think that God is sad? Sarah: God? Why would He be sad? Mom: God is immensely happy. However, He became a man to die on the cross. So that wouldn’t be something bad. Sarah: God became a man in order to suffer? Mom: Mm-hmm. Sarah: But? Mom: You’ll see, Sarah. The greatest Saints have been the happiest people in the world. And all of them have wanted to carry part of Jesus’ cross. They wanted to suffer as Jesus suffered. Sarah: Well, I don’t get it! Who wants to suffer? I don’t, that’s for sure. Mom: No one likes to suffer for nothing. You have to think about why Jesus suffered. And why the Saints also wanted to suffer. And join their sufferings to the sufferings of Jesus on the cross. Sarah: Well, tell me why. Mom: Precisely to make others happy. God gives graces to other people through the prayers and sacrifices that we offer for them. Look, I’m washing dishes, right? Do you think I like to wash them? Sarah: Well no, I guess not. Mom: But I do it joyfully so that you can eat on clean plates. Sarah: Oh, I think I’m beginning to understand a little. Mom: You’ll see. I’ll tell you a beautiful story. It’s the story of St. Catherine of Siena, a great saint! [music] One day Catherine left her church and met a beggar. Beggar: Girl, won’t you please give me some clothing, have some compassion for this poor beggar? Catherine: I don’t have much to give you. Here, good man. It doesn’t have sleeves, but it’s the only one I have. Beggar: Thank you. Thank you very much, but I also need some clothes to wear under it. Catherine: All right, wait a moment. I’ll go home and see what I can find. Mom: So Catherine went home and found a shirt and a pair of socks that belonged to her father. Sarah: (giggles) Mom: She asked his permission to give them to the beggar. Her father, who was very good, told her she could give them to him. And that’s what she did. Beggar: May God repay you, my child. But now my arms are cold. Catherine: Of course. My tunic has no sleeves. But it’s the only one I have. Beggar: If you could give me something for my arms? Catherine: All right, wait for me here. I’ll go back home and see what I could find. Mom: Catherine returned to her home and removed the sleeves from another tunic and gave them to the beggar. Catherine: Here, good man. It’s all that I could find. Beggar: May Our Merciful God repay you, child. I only want to ask you for one more thing. Would you have some clothing for a friend of mine who’s in the hospital? He’s as poor as I am. Mom: Catherine returned home, but found nothing more. She had given him all the clothing that she could. So she became sad. Catherine: I’m sorry, sir, I don’t have more clothing. Beggar: Don’t worry, my child. I see you’re very generous. You’ve given me everything you had. I won’t bother you any more. Thank you. Thank you very much.Mom: Then the followingnight, something incrediblehappened.Catherine: Hah! Jesus: Hello, Catherine. Catherine: Jesus! You’re wearing my tunic! Mom: That’s right! Jesus was dressed in the tunic that Catherine had given to the beggar. Jesus: Child, yesterday you covered My Nakedness with this tunic. Now, I’m going to dress you.Sarah: Wow!That beggar was Jesus.Jesus: This invisible garment will always protect you from the cold. Mom: And from that day on Catherine always dressed only in a tunic, even in winter and she was never cold. Jesus gave it to her for being so generous. Sarah: I understand. If we give to others the little that we have, then God gives us much more! Mom: Of course, it’s like what happened to the boy who had five loaves of bread and two fish. The Gospel of St. John tells us what happened. One day Jesus was preaching near the Sea of Galilee and 1000’s of people were listening to Him. It became time to eat and the disciples didn’t have enough food for everyone. There were thousands. Jesus asked Phillip, “Where can we buy some bread for these people?” He only said this to test Phillip. He himself knew exactly what He was going to do. Phillip answered, Phillip: 200 denarii will only buy enough to give them a small piece each. Boy: This is all the food I have. I had brought it for myself but I want you to have it to share with everyone. Disciple #1: Thank you, boy. You are very generous, but this isn’t enough food. There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish, but what is that for so many? Jesus: Make the people sit down.Mom: Then Jesus took theloaves, gave thanks and gavethem out, as much as theywanted. When theyhad eaten enough,He said to the disciples,Jesus: Pick up the pieces left over so that nothing gets wasted. Mom: So they picked them up and filled 12 baskets with scraps left over from the five barley loaves, and all thanks to the generosity of that boy who gave everything that he had. Sarah: Do you know what, Mom? I’ve decided to give away all the toys that I don’t use to the poor children. Mom: That’s good, honey. But you can give something even better. Sarah: Better? Like what? I don’t have anything else. Mom: You can give your time. Sarah: My time? I don’t know what you mean. Mom: You can go with your grandmother every Saturday and let her tell you some stories when she was young. Sarah: But, Mom, Grandma always comes over when my favorite TV show is on. Mom: I know, but Grandma loves spending time with you. Sarah: Yes, but… Mom: Let me finish telling you St. Catherine’s story.When Catherine was 6years old, she had a visionthat changed her life.Sarah: She saw Jesus?Mom: Yes. She sawJesus dressed asa Bishop.[music]From that day on,Catherine looked for momentsduring the day when shecould be alone with Godand pray.When she was seven years old,Catherine decided todedicate her life to savesouls, just like theDominicans.That’s why she kissed theground when they passed.She wanted to be like them.She wanted to pray and offersacrifices to God so thatsinners would repent and goto heaven.[music] Catherine: Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee…Mom: On each step Catherineknelt and prayed a “HailMary” for sinners.It was like a game for her.Later, she decided to eatless and offer thatsacrifice for the souls ofsinners.She did this without herparents realizing it.Sarah: But that is too much for me. Mom: Don’t worry, Sarah, God does not ask the same of everyone. He asks us according to what we can give. You have to discover how you can pray a bit more and offer small sacrifices. That’s all. Sarah: Small? Mom: Of course, you don’t have to make big sacrifices. Sarah: Then maybe I could help you set the table every day. That’s something I can do. Mom: I think that’s a fantastic idea. God will be very happy and I will be, too. Sarah: Good! You know, Mom, thinking of big sacrifices scared me. Mom: Look, when Catherine was an adolescent, she helped her mother around the house a lot. She washed dishes, washed clothes, cleaned the house and she did it all happily. Do you know why? Sarah: No. Mom: Because she imagined that her house was the house of Jesus, she imagined that her mother was the Virgin Mary. Her father was St. Joseph and her brothers were the apostles. That way she did everything with great joy, until one day she decided to take a big step. [music] Catherine: I wanted to meet with you to tell you something very important. I decided to never get married and to dedicate my whole life to God. [music] Catherine: I want to give Him my life to save the souls of sinners. I will dedicate myself to praying and offering sacrifices to God for all the people who don’t love Him. Father: Daughter, have you thought about this carefully? It’s a very important decision. Mom: Catherine, well, I don’t like that decision at all. You can pray for sinners while being married. My child, think about it carefully and you’ll see that it’s better for you to marry and have a family. Catherine: Papa, Mama, I love you very much and I thank you for your advice, but it’s already decided. This is what God asks of me and this is what I will do. [music]Mom: Catherine was admittedinto the Sisters of Penanceof the Third Order ofSt. Dominic.That day Catherine criedwith joy.She was fulfillingGod’s will.Then she heard Jesus sayingto her,Jesus: My dear daughter,the way of sacrifice is veryhard and difficult at first.However, the more you walkalong it, the more happy andblessed it appears.Sarah: I suppose it’s like riding a bike. At first, it seems difficult and scares you, but then you realize that it’s easier than it seems. Mom: (chuckles) Well, that’s the way it is.Her parents gave hera room so that Catherinecould pray peacefully.She was there all daywithout leaving.She ate very little andoffered the sacrificeto God.She wanted to suffer thesame as Jesus on the cross,because she knew that thissuffering was a greattreasure.Her life was like that forsome time until Jesusappeared to her one day.Jesus: My child, from this time, you must do all the tasks that I ask of you. Catherine: Of course, Jesus. I always want to do what You tell me.Mom: Then Jesus put aninvisible ring on Catherine,one that only she could see.Sarah: Is it like yourwedding ring?Mom: Yes, that ring meantthat Catherine was united toGod forever.Then Jesus told her to leave her room and be with the needy people. And do you know what she did next? Sarah: No. Mom: Well, she asked her father for permission to give the things they had in the house to the poor. (Sarah gasps) And her father, who was very generous, gave her permission. So, Catherine listened to Jesus when he said: Jesus: “I tell you solemnly, insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did it to Me.” Alex: Sarah, can I use your box of paints? I need them to, um…? Sarah: Yes. They’re in my wardrobe. Alex: What did you say? Sarah: They’re in my wardrobe! Alex: Then you’ll let me use them? Sarah: Yes, I’ve told you you could. What’s the matter with you? Are you deaf? Alex: No, it’s just that you never let me use them. Sarah: Go on. Use them, but put them back in their place. Okay? Alex: Okay. [music]Mom: Catherine went to thehospitals and the houses ofthe sick.She cared for them andhelped them to pray.Above all, she was with thesick who had no one to carefor them.After receiving Communion,Catherine was in ecstasy andshe was raised a few inchesfrom the floor.During that time she spokewith God.Sarah: You mean she floatedin the air?Mom: Yes.Very soon the news rangthroughout the town of Sienaand many people went to seehow Catherine floated in theair after receivingCommunion.Everyone began to say thatshe was a saint.Catherine: Lord, I ask that all the people that I love may go to Heaven. Jesus: Hold out your hand. Mom: Jesus granted His Wounds to Catherine but they were invisible. Only she could see them. Jesus: You can offer the pain of these wounds, so that the souls of your loved ones may go to Heaven as you wish. Catherine: Thank You, Jesus. Jesus: There are many whose salvation depends on you. I will send you to Popes and to all Christian people. Sarah: And no one could see these wounds? Mom: No one, only Catherine. In fact, some time later, Jesus gave her other wounds. The same ones that He had on the cross and no one could see them. Only after her death did they become visible. Catherine offered that pain for the Pope and for the Church. Sarah: And what good does that do? I mean, what good is it to pray for people that we don’t know? How can we pray for someone that we don’t know and not even their names? Mom: You’ll see. The prayers and the sacrifices that we offer are never lost. It’s as if we put some gold coins in a purse. They’re kept to be used when they’re needed most. It’s what they call the Communion of the Saints. There’s a sack for all Christians. For this reason, each time we do a good deed that sack is filled a bit more and each time we do a bad deed, it’s as if we soiled one of these coins. Do you understand? Sarah: Yes. Now I understand that all of us Christians are united in good things and bad. [music] Mom: Catherine prayed a lot for sinners. One day two thieves were taken to be executed. Man in crowd: Whip them until they die! Woman in crowd: Thieves! Murderers! Priest: Brother, pray so that God may have mercy on us. Thief #1: God? Did you hear that? Thief #2: Yeah, where’s God? Hey, God, do You hear me? Where’s Your God now? (thieves laugh) Thief #1: (laughs) You see, Priest, there is no God. Guard: Be quiet! You won’t be shouting when we hang you. Catherine: Lord, you are merciful. Have mercy on those two thieves. Make them repent and confess, because they’re going to die today. Thief #1: O Lord. Thief #2: Jesus, have pity on us. Man in crowd: What are those wretches saying? Priest: They’re asking for God’s mercy. It’s a miracle! Thief #1: I want a priest. We want to see a priest. Thief #2: Please, get a priest. We ask for Confession. Priest: Brothers, I’m willing to hear your Confession and to pardon all your sins in the Name and power of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Catherine: Thank You, My God. How good You are! [music] Guard: Hey, why are you so happy? You’re going to die. Thief #1: We’re going to receive the punishment that our actions deserve but we go in peace with God. He has forgiven us in the person of a priest. Mom: And that was how Catherine helped those two thieves to repent and confess. She went through many towns and cities converting people. Many confessed and changed their lives. So, the Pope authorized three priests to always go with her so that they could administer the sacraments. Sarah: Three priests just for her? Mom: That’s right. She talked to the people about God’s pardon. And about how happy they would be after confessing their sins and changing their lives. So, the three priests spent all day hearing Confessions. In that time the Pope didn’t live in Rome. Sarah: He didn’t? Why not? Mom: You see, the Pope was responsible for many territories around the city of Rome and those territories were at war. So the Pope decided to live in Avignon, which was a city in France. Sarah: But his house was in Rome. Mom: Of course. And Catherine wrote him letters asking that he return to Rome.Catherine: Holy Father, youmust return to Rome, becauseRome is the center ofChristianity.There is where the Vicar ofChrist, the representativeof God on earth, must be.Please, end the warand be concerned for thegood of the souls that Godhas commended to you.Signed, Catherine, Servantof the Servants of God.Mom: Catherine insisted somuch that she got the Popeto return to Rome.The people came out toreceive him very joyfullyand they organized festivalsfor several days.Finally, the Pope returnedhome.But the warcontinued, because therewere people who wanted tokeep the Pope’s lands.Soldier #1: Where is that blasted woman who calls herself Catherine? Catherine: Here I am. What do you want? Soldier #1: We’ve come to take you to jail. Who do you think you are to get involved in things that don’t concern you? You’ll be judged and condemned as a traitor. Soldier #2: That’s right. Where is it seen that a woman can interfere in the matters of State? Catherine: All right, do what God permits, but do not touch my companions. Here I am. I have always wanted to suffer for God and for His Church. So, if you have received the assignment of killing me, then do it. I’m not afraid, but leave my friends in peace. Soldier #2: Go on! What are you waiting for? Kill her once and for all. Soldier #1: (grumbles) Soldier #2: What are you doing? Soldier #1: I’ve never seen so much faith and so much courage in a woman. Soldier #2: Then I will kill her. Soldier #1: Sheath your sword right now! Let’s go! Soldier #2: But… Soldier #1: That’s an order! [music] Sarah: How brave! Mom: That was Catherine! She wasn’t afraid of anything, because she knew that everything that happens is the Will of God. And for that reason everything is good, although it may seem bad. If God permits it, then He will make good come out of it. Alex: Here! I brought back the paints. I finished. Sarah: Okay. Hey, you’re missing an amazing story. Alex: Oh, are there soldiers with swords? Sarah: Yes! Mom: Catherine went to live in Rome to be near the Pope. Every day she offered her life for the Pope and for the Church. Alex: Does the Pope need us to pray for him? Mom: Of course! God has to give him a lot of strength so that he can govern the Church. Alex: Okay. Then I’ll pray every night for the Pope. Sarah: Me, too! Mom: That’s a great idea! These are two-way prayers, because the Pope prays a lot for all of us too. [music]Mom: While in Rome,Catherine became very ill.She could hardly getout of bed.Catherine: So that the Church can be free, I suffer with joy and I will die happily for the Church, if necessary. The Lord has asked me to offer my whole life, my prayers and my sufferings for sinners, as He Himself did. And I have always tried to imitate Jesus on the cross, suffering in order to save us all. Blessed be the Lord. Father, into Your Hands I commend my spirit. [music]Mom: Catherine died inpeace, very happy to haveoffered her entire lifeto God.Sarah: You know, Mommy, I’ve decided to spend Saturday mornings with Grandma, even though I’ll miss my favorite television show. I’ll offer this small sacrifice for the Pope and the Church, like Catherine did! Mom: That’s very good, honey. Your grandmother will be very happy that you are with her. And Jesus will change that small sacrifice into an immense treasure. Alex: And I’ll go for a walk with Grandpa and we’ll buy the newspaper, even if I don’t want to. Mom: That is the very best gift that you can give them. They love you very much. [music]

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