Since there are more than 10,000 saints that have been canonized by the Catholic Church, so there are bound to be some name duplicates. These 12 amazing saints all share the name of Catherine – a name that means ‘pure.’
While while they all share the same name and love for God, each of the following 12 Catherine’s (or Katharine’s) path to holiness is unique. Check out their stories below.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel, lived in Egypt around the late 200’s AD. When she called out Emperor Maxentius for his persecution of Christians, he brought in his best philosophers to debate her. She won the debate, converting many to Christianity on the spot. Maxentius couldn’t have that, so he sentenced her to torture and death. When she was brought to the ‘breaking wheel’ – a torture device that one is stretched upon and their bones shattered, she simply touched the wheel and it fell apart. She was later beheaded for her faith.Her feast day is November 25, and she is the patron saint of students and apologists.
Saint Catherine of Siena
If there’s anyone who knows about the joys and struggles of living in a big family, it’s Saint Catherine of Siena. She was her mother and father’s 25th child, born in the late 1300s. When she was asked to marry her late older sister’s widow, she refused and cut off all of her to make herself ugly. Later in her life, she became mystically married to Christ Himself after she became a third order Dominican. She is most famous for convincing Pope in Avignon to return to the Vatican in Rome. Her writings led her to be declared one of the few female Doctors of the Church.Her feast day is April 29, and she is the patron saint of fire prevention
Saint Catherine of Bologna
At the young age of fourteen, Catherine of Bologna became a third order Franciscan, leaving her job as the personal maid to the daughter of the Marquis. She suffered from temptations from the devil himself, as well as struggles with doubt. A true renaissance woman, Catherine was known for her beautiful writing, painting, and viola playing – she even played on her deathbed! When she died she was buried without a coffin, but the sisters exhumed her body later to find her incorruptible. 600 years later, you can still find her body in the Church of Saint Bologna. Her feast day is March 9, and she is the patron saint of artists.
Saint Catherine of Sweden
Holiness runs in the family for Saint Catherine of Sweden – her mother was the famous Saint Bridget of Sweden! After both of their husbands died, Catherine and Bridget spent time in Rome, working with the poor of the city and teaching them about the faith. After her mother’s death, Catherine became the superior of the Order of the Holy Savior, which her mother had started. She died in 1381.
Her feast day is March 24.
Saint Katharine Drexel
Saint Katharine was born into a wealthy family in Philadelphia in 1858. Although she grew up with the example of her parent’s generosity towards those less fortunate, she discovered that just giving money was not enough. She petitioned the Pope to create a religious order to evangelize to Native Americans and African Americans, and the Pope asked her “Why not, my child, become a missionary yourself?” She dedicated the rest of her life as well as over 20 million dollars to the missionary cause.
Her feast day is March 3, and she is the patron saint of racial justice and philanthropists.
Blessed (Anne) Catherine Emmerick
So, her middle name is Catherine, and she’s yet to be canonized, but this saint definetly belongs in this collection of incredible women. Starting at a young age, Anne Catherine was known for going to daily Mass, multiple adoration hours, and late night, two hour Stations of the Cross around the town. After nine years in the Augustinian convent, she was forced to leave and go back home because of Napoleon’s reign. Soon after, she became bedridden, and remained in bed for the rest of her life. Yet even in bed, Christ gave her visions as well as the gift of the stigmata.
Her feast day is February 9.
Saint Catherine Labouré
Born to a family of farmers in France, Catherine’s mother died when she was just nine years old. She adopted the Blessed Mother as her mother, and later joined the Daughters of Charity, a religious order dedicated to nursing. It was during her time in the convent that the Blessed Mother appeared to her and gave her the mission of spreading the word about the miraculous medal. Her body remains incorruptible.
Her feast day is November 28 and she is the patron saint of seniors.
Saint Catherine of Genoa
Born in Genoa (no, really?) Saint Catherine came from a family who had produced two Popes. Although she wanted to enter the convent at age 13, her parents instead asked her to marry at age 16. Her husband managed money horribly and was violent, so the marriage was not pleasant for Catherine. She received a divine vision from God while she was waiting for confession one day. Her husband converted to the faith before he passed away, and Catherine spent the rest of her life serving the sick in the Genoa hospital.
Her feast day is September 15.
Saint Catherine de Ricci
Born ‘Alexandria,’ this saint took the name Catherine when she entered the religious life. At age fourteen, she became a Dominican, and became a prioress at the young age twenty-five. Three popes visited her during her life time, and she was friends with Saint Phillip Neri. After a long life of holiness, she passed away at the age of sixty-seven.
Her feast day is February 13.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
The first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, Saint Kateri was born in 1656. As a small child, she contracted small pox, which permanently scarred her face. She converted to Catholicism at age nineteen after her tribe was visited by Jesuit missionaries. She took the name ‘Kateri,’ the Mohawk translation of ‘Catherine’ to honor Saint Catherine of Siena. Only five years after she found the Church and Christ, she passed away. At the point of her death, all of her scars miraculously disappeared.
Her feast day is July 14.
Blessed Catherine Troiani
Another woman well on her way to sainthood, Catherine Troiani grew up in a convent after the death of her mother, and joined the convent when she reached age sixteen. Although her duty was to teach the young girls of the community, she felt called to be a missionary. In 1859 she became the first female missionary to Egypt. She taught children regardless of their religion and worked to end slavery in the country. She died in 1887 after almost thirty years of missionary work.
Saint Catherine Chong Ch’oryom
Canonized by Saint Pope John Paul II, Saint Catherine was a Korean martyr who died during the 19th century, along with as many as 10,000 of her fellow Korean Christians. We don’t know much about this saint, but we do know that she gave her life for her faith and belief in His Church.
All you holy Catherines, pray for us!