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Letters of Catherine Benincasa   By: (1347-1380)

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Letters of Catherine Benincasa is a remarkable collection of correspondences by the renowned Italian saint and mystic, Catherine of Siena. This compilation offers readers a unique glimpse into the life and mind of a remarkable woman who played a significant role in shaping the religious and political landscape of fourteenth century Italy.

Catherine's letters are deeply personal and intimate, displaying her unwavering devotion to God and her firm belief in the power of prayer. They explore a range of topics, including the state of the Church, the plight of the poor and marginalized, and the importance of spiritual contemplation. Through her words, Catherine emerges as a passionate advocate for justice and compassion, constantly calling on both church authorities and secular leaders to fulfill their responsibilities towards the less fortunate.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this collection is the authenticity of Catherine's voice. Her words are vivid, often employing rich imagery and poetic language. Whether she is attempting to console a friend or admonish a wayward cleric, Catherine's letters are filled with a sense of urgency, conveying the weight of her convictions and her unyielding determination to bring about positive change.

Moreover, the compilation also provides valuable historical insight. Catherine's letters bear witness to the tumultuous political climate of her time, with Italy divided by factional rivalries and subject to external threats. Her correspondences with various political figures, including popes and civic leaders, reveal her diplomatic skills and her ability to navigate complex power structures for the sake of her mission.

The translator of this edition deserves commendation for their clear and fluid rendering of Catherine's letters. The tone and style are consistently maintained, allowing readers to engage fully with the depth of Catherine's thoughts and emotions. Additionally, the footnotes provide useful contextual information, enabling readers unfamiliar with the historical background to fully appreciate the significance of Catherine's interactions and the impact of her actions.

While the primary audience of this book may be scholars and students of Italian history and spirituality, it is accessible to anyone interested in the inner life of a remarkable woman and the power of faith to shape history. Catherine of Siena's words continue to resonate centuries later, serving as a testament to the enduring legacy of her remarkable life and unwavering commitment to her beliefs.

Letters of Catherine Benincasa serves as a testament to Catherine of Siena's profound spiritual insights, her tireless efforts for social justice, and her unwavering commitment to her faith. This collection offers readers a unique opportunity to delve into the mind and heart of a woman who left an indelible mark on history.

First Page:

Anne Soulard, Charles Franks, Robert Shimmin, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team


[Illustration: The Ecstasy of St. Catherine Detail from Bazzis Fresco ]




Table of Persons Addressed St. Catherine of Siena as seen in her letters Chief Events in the life of St. Catherine Brief Outline of Contemporary Public Events To Monna Alessa dei Saracini To Benincasa her brother, when he was in Florence To the Venerable Religious, Brother Antonio of Nizza To Monna Agnese, who was the wife of Messer Orso Malavolti To Sister Eugenia, her niece at the Convent of St. Agnes of Montepulciano To Nanna, daughter of Benincasa, a little maid, her niece Letters on the Consecrated Life To Brother William of England To Daniella of Orvieto, clothed with the Habit of St. Dominic To Monna Agnese, wife of Francesco, a tailor of Florence Letters in response to certain criticisms To Monna Orsa, wife of Bartolo Usimbardi, and to Monna Agnese To a Religious man in Florence, who was shocked at her Ascetic Practices To Brother Bartolomeo Dominici To Brother Matteo di Francesco Tolomei To a Mantellata... Continue reading book >>

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