The Word Among Us

November 2018 Issue

The Hardest Commandment

How St. Catherine of Siena learned to love her enemies.

By: Christopher M. Bellitto

The Hardest Commandment: How St. Catherine of Siena learned to love her enemies. by Christopher M. Bellitto

The city was rotting from within. The Great Plague had crushed the people of Siena in mind and body, while corrupt politicians and clergy added to their moral decay. Right in the middle of it, a young woman named Catherine occupied herself with acts of kindness and works of mercy. She had a remarkable ability to soften the most hardened of hearts—even those belonging to people who antagonized her.

Catherine of Siena (1347–1380) is well known as a medieval saint who was not afraid to confront the kings and popes of her day. But long...

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