St. Catherine of Siena: A laywoman called by God to rebuke an antipope who was invalidly “elected” while the throne was already occupied

Originally posted

Happy Feast! (April 29th in the N.O., April 30th in the Traditional calendar)

Excerpt reblogged from a longer post here:


Next, let’s turn to Saint Catherine of Siena, 14th Century mystic and healer of schism. Her masterpiece, The Dialogue, is available online HERE.  Much to her dismay, she was called to teach and instruct out in the real world, when all she wanted to do was be alone to contemplate our Lord. Among other things, it was left to her to publicly rebuke a bunch of scheming traitorous Cardinals who had invalidly faux “elected” an antipope after invalidly convoking a faux conclave while the throne was already occupied.

Funny that.

The Life of Catherine of Siena, written by her confessor and spiritual director, Blessed Raymund of Capua, reveals how Catherine discovered that she was to have a teaching role:

The virgin, lying prostrate at the feet of the Lord, had spoken more by way of tears than with her lips, He would reply: “Be quiet, sweetest daughter; it is necessary for you to fulfill your every duty, so that with my grace you may assist others as well as yourself. I have no intention of cutting you off from me; on the contrary, I wish to bind you more closely to myself, by means of love of the neighbour…

What is there to be astonished at or to lament about if I lead you to do what in infancy you desired to do?” And Catherine, somewhat comforted by this reply, would say, as once Blessed Mary had said, “How shall this thing be?” And the Lord: “According as my goodness shall ordain.” And Catherine, like a good disciple imitating her Master, would answer: “Let your will, not mine, be done in all things, Lord, for I am darkness and you are light; I am not, whereas you are He who is; I most ignorant, and you the wisdom of God the Father. But I beg you, O Lord—if it is not too presumptuous of me—how can what you have just said come about; that is to say, how can I, wretched and frail as I am, be of use to souls? My sex, as you know, is against it in many ways, both because it is not highly considered by men, and also because it is not good, for decency’s sake, for a woman to mix with men.”

To these words the Lord would reply, as once the Archangel Gabriel had replied, that nothing is impossible to God, for He said: “Am not I He who created the human race, and divided it into male and female? I spread abroad the grace of my spirit where I will. In my eyes there is neither male nor female, rich nor poor, but all are equal, for I can do all things with equal ease. It is as easy for me to create an Angel as an ant, and to create all the heavens is as easy for me as to create the merest worm. It is written of me that I made whatever I willed to make, for nothing is impossible to me. (Psalm 113). “Do you still remain doubtful? Do you imagine that I am unable to find ways of achieving whatever I have determined and predetermined on? However, I realize that you do not speak thus from lack of faith but from humility. Therefore you must know that in these latter days there has been such an upsurge of pride, especially in the case of men who imagine themselves to be learned or wise, that my justice cannot endure them any longer, without delivering a just chastisement upon them that will bring them to confusion. But since my mercy transcends all else I do, I shall first give them a salutary lesson, to see whether they will come to their senses and humble themselves; as I did with the Jews and the Gentiles, when I sent amongst them idiots whom I had filled with divine wisdom. To confound their arrogance, I will raise up women ignorant and frail by nature but endowed with strength and divine wisdom. Then, if they will come to their senses and humble themselves, I will behave with the utmost mercy towards them, that is to say, towards those who, according to the grace given them, receive my doctrine, offered to them in fragile but specially chosen vessels, and follow it reverently. Those who will not accept this salutary lesson, I shall with perfect justice reduce to such confusion that the world will look upon them as objects of contempt and derision.

The Life of Saint Catherine of Siena, Part Two, Chapter One HERE

6 thoughts on “St. Catherine of Siena: A laywoman called by God to rebuke an antipope who was invalidly “elected” while the throne was already occupied”

  1. Yeah, back then a Saint was needed to discern which claimant was the true pope. Today? Not so much….

    St. Catherine, pray for us.

    1. Was she a Saint when she was alive rebuking the antipope? Or did they make her a Saint later?

      Are there holy people today out there calling Francis an Antipope? Probably. Are they saints? Not yet.

      We don’t know. And you don’t know. But you think you know, which is why Sedevacantists are so silly.

      One thing I know, I’m not leaving the institution Jesus founded because I’m upset at an ecumenical council. Remember that whole “gates of hell will not prevail against it”?

      1. I believe it was St. Catherine who said she had to spend a few moments in purgatory for making an irreverent Sign of the Cross one time. Since she was not martyred it’s quite certain she was a Saint in this life too, at the very least, by the end of her life.

        The OP and most commenters here are TLM only Catholics and agree/support the SSPX. The Society has always said the NO Mass was a danger to the faith. The logical next question to this belief is; is the NO Mass from heaven or from men? If from heaven, it would be safe for Catholics; if not, it cannot by reason of ” the gates of hell” come from the Catholic Church.

        It should be obvious to most Catholics that the sedes, even if wrong, only desire to hold the Catholic faith whole and entire. As my sede position is tiresome to you and a few others here, know that your anti-sedeism which seems to border on hatred of sedes is also tiresome.

  2. Without going into detail, someone was put (by God I know) in my life for a mere nanosecond today after Mass. It was a true moment of grace and it helped bring a positive closure to what has been a horrible week. What does that have to do with Catherine of Siena? Nothing other than the fact that she was not a highly-educated, multiple-degree, intellectual scholar in her day. God chooses who He wants, for whatever the situation and yeah, 9.999 times out of ten, they’re not who you expect.

    1. James Andrew Dunn – Thanks be to God! Even without knowing the details, (don’t need them), it is always good to hear about examples of those who cooperate with grace and thus bring God into the lives of those who need Him, sometimes desperately and immediately so, as you infer.

      “Goodness”, as you witnessed here in this person’s act, is not a super-power, but rather a simple surrender in spiritual and practical ways to the Law of God, which is the Law of Love through the medium of grace.

      The Saints (and saints – those training to be big “S” Saints through sanctification), like St Catherine of Siena, perhaps also like this anonymous person you mention here, are those who seek for and cooperate with grace through the surrender of will to God who made us, loves us, calls us, leads us *to do* and *act* just as you saw “after Mass”. The activity itself need not be great, merely faithful, and God will make it great.

  3. If she lived in our times most Catholics would call her mentally ill and delusional, or a false prophet, especially if she claimed to have a mission from God, and that we must ignore novel private revelations and focus on Fatima.

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