Cathy's patron saint, you see, was a hard worker! Originally christened Zoe Laboure, St. Catherine was the daughter of French landowners in the early 19th century, a woman of particular abilities -- and a strong and lively temperament which she perfected to great humility and obedience. Though she was the daughter of middle class parents and a member of a large and loving family, her life was not an easy one. Little Zoe Laboure, the ninth of eleven children, was only eight years old when her mother died, and since her older sister had entered the convent, she had to take on the care of the house and farm for her father at a very tender age -- but she did so with great capability and patience, waiting for the day when she could also enter the religious life. Through all her labors, she kept a spirit of charity and cheerfulness, and tended carefully to her spiritual life, rising before dawn every day to begin her day at Mass. If it had not been for her duties to her family, she would have entered the convent as early as St. Therese of Lisieux would later in the century, but Zoe's father and some of her siblings discouraged her vocation. Still, after numerous obstacles, God's will prevailed and Zoe's choice of an order having been confirmed in a vision of St. Vincent De Paul, himself, she was finally able to enter the Convent of St. Vincent in 1830, when she was twenty-four years old.
After her profession, Sr. Catherine was sent to a hospital in Paris to work alongside the Sisters of Charity, beginning her many years of labor first in the kitchens, then in the laundry, and finally, working in the hospice for aged gentlemen in Reuilly, where she also was in charge of the chickens. She continued this charitable work for forty years, to all appearances leading the humble and useful, but unremarkable life of an ordinary Sister.
|St. Catherine's incorrupt body as it looks today. It is located at 140 Rue de Bac, Paris, |
at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
For an excellent post on St. Catherine with a bazillion wonderful links, run over to a JOYfilled Family. For a more thorough, beautifully written online read about St. Catherine, go here. For a coloring page of St. Catherine, run over here. Or click and print below:
|In the original French.|
|And in English.|
|And, last but not least:|
Happy nameday to our Catherine
And all the Catherines out there!
* Reposted from last year. :0)