Saint Catherine of Siena (Santa Catarina de Senna) and St. Francis Xavier (São Francisco Xavier) were the patron saints of the Macau Diocese since the beginning, thus highlighting the missionary character of the territory. The Church celebrates the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, the great Italian mystic and Dominican saint, on April 29 of every year.
Saint Dominic's Church (Igreja de São Domingos) in Macau, built by Spanish Dominican missionaries who arrived in Macau in 1587, the main altar of the baroque Church is presided by a royal statue of Our Lady of the Rosary accompanied on her right side by a statue of St Dominic and on her left side by a statue of St Catherine of Siena. On May 2, 1646 the Macau Senate declared St Catherine Patroness of this land (“S. Catarina Padroeira desta terra, que entao se achava na miseria e o seu povo dividido e desunido pela discordia”, Manuel Teixeira).
Catherine Benincasa was born on March 25, 1347 in Siena, Italy. When she was about seventeen years old, Catherine joined the “Mantellata” of Siena – a group of lay women of the Third Order of Penance of Saint Dominic. She died on April 29, 1380 – after much suffering. She was canonized by Pius II in 1461, proclaimed a co-patron of Europe by Pope Pius XII in 1939, and declared Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970. One of her greatest visible achievements was her influence on the return of Pope Gregory XI to Rome from Avignon, where the popes resided for over fifty years. St Catherine always fought for the unity of the Church and a tireless promoter of peace.
St Catherine of Siena, Patron of Macau, pray for us!
【Source】O Clarim, "St Catherine of Siena – A Patron Saint of Macau"
【Photos】©️ 2020 Macao Catholic Culture Association