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Lives of the Saints:

How They Changed the World

Saint Catherine of Bologna (1413–1463)

Saint Catherine of Bologna (1413–1463)

Patron saint of art and artists

Feast day: March 9




Saint Catherine was born in Bologna, Italy. She had a great love for the arts. Her noble lineage allowed her to be educated at court, where she became interested in painting. After her education, Catherine joined the Poor Clares. She shared her talents with them by illustrating manuscripts, painting miniatures, baking, and painting portraits. Catherine and fifteen of her sisters were appointed to found a Poor Clare monastery in Florence. She never hesitated to take on the small, everyday tasks of the monastery, such as cooking and the care of animals. Catherine became abbess of the new community and her sanctity inspired many young women to join the Poor Clares. Her painting of Saint Ursula remains on display in a Venice gallery. (Image in public domain-100)