Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Catherine of Genoa (1447–1510)

Saint Catherine of Genoa (1447–1510)

Patroness of childless couples, of widows, and against adultery

Feast day: September 15

Saint Catherine of Genoa was beautiful, intelligent, and pious. She felt called to religious life and attempted to enter a convent when she was 13. However, she was turned away because of her youth and instead entered into an arranged marriage at age 16. She and her husband were unable to have children, and her husband became violent, unfaithful, and careless with their money. Catherine felt hopeless and soon lost interest in her faith.

While attending the Sacrament of Confession a while later, Catherine received a vision of God’s love and her own sinfulness. She returned home renewed in her faith and helped her husband let go of his self-destructive ways. The two lived chastely for the rest of their days, ministering to the sick and the poor. After her husband’s death, Catherine became a Franciscan tertiary and recorded what she had seen and heard in her visions. 

(Image Giovanni Agostino Ratti, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)