This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

March 9 -- Feast of Saint Catherine of Bologna

Nice chair, if she must sit, but...
I trust that no one ever said Requiescat in Pace about Saint Catherine of Bologna.  Eighteen days after her death, her body was exhumed and moved to the Chapel of Bologna, where she continues to sit (not repose, but sit -- see photo) to this day.  If you google "dangers of sitting," you will find articles from The NY Times, The Atlantic, the Mayo Clinic, and the Maclean's, all offering abundant evidence that sitting is just plain bad for you.  And yet poor Saint Catherine has been sitting there for centuries.  Granted, she's in no danger of dying from the position, but if there's any spiritual connection between her and her relics, this seems an uncomfortable way to venerate them.  Consider:

Obese people sit for 2.5 hours more every day than non-obese people.  Between 1980 and 2000, the rate of exercise among Americans stayed the same, the average length of time spent sitting increased 8% and the obesity rate doubled. 
  • Sitting impedes electrical activity in leg muscles. 
  • Calorie burning drops to 1 per minute for folks who are sitting. 
  • There is a direct correlation between hours spent watching TV and the percentage increase in health risk.  
St. C's own work
For more disturbing info about sitting, go to this site.  Remember, sitting is the new smoking; we wouldn't plant a cigarette between the dessicated lips of a saint, would we?  Why would we pose poor Saint Catherine's relics on a chair?  Especially when the saint herself was such a model of rectitude.

Catherine was the daughter of an aristocratic house, raised in the court of the Duke of Ferrara, and educated in Latin, music, and painting.  Yet she joined the Poor Clares, the second order of St. Francis, an order famous for exceptional austerity.  In her life as a nun, she served as an abbess, but also as an illustrator and author.  In her book, Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons Necessary for Spiritual Warfare, she describes her visions from both God and Satan.

As a result of her extraordinary illustrations, she has been assigned to be the patron of artists.  An artist named Sandhi Schimmel Gold has created this icon (at right)  of Saint Catherine of Bologna.   Prints of this and other portraits can be ordered at

No comments:

Post a Comment