The life of St. Catherine of Genoa confirms that spiritual renewal, virtue, holy reflection, and spiritual direction lead to wisdom and discernment. Born into an illustrious Italian family that was connected to two popes, Catherine was known as a quiet and pious child, being both prayerful and obedient. She expressed an interest in the convent at the age of thirteen but she was turned away because she was too young.
Saint Monica of Hippo
331 – 387
Most of us are familiar with Saint Monica, the mother of the great Saint Augustine. As the story goes, Monica had a wayward child in her son Augustine. He was a great success, but he wasn’t living a moral life and he wasn’t growling in holiness. In fact, his behavior was leading him away from holiness and away from God altogether. Back at home, his mother, Monica, prayed fervently for the conversion of her son, Augustine. Not only was St. Monica’s prayer time consumed with the conversion of her son, but also with the conversion of her husband, who was known to be adulterous and abusive to Monica. St. Monica persisted in prayer. God would reward this beautiful Saint for her endless petitions with the answer to prayer she had sought for so long!
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, is not only a contemporary saint, but a saint for the contemporary woman! This was a woman who loved God, loved her husband, loved her children and raising them, and even had time to devote herself to charity and a profession, a physician no less! What an inspiration St. Gianna is to us modern-day women, who also try to juggle faith, family, and work. On top of that, she is always seen with a smile on her face, evidence of the true joy she experienced from living this ordinary life for the Lord!