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Catherine of Siena: A Passionate Life

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
This biography of the great mystic and saint Catherine of Siena presents a moving, lucid portrait of the strong-minded and fiery young woman who campaigned for peace and struggled to reform the church during the turbulent 14th century, and became one of our most beloved spiritual figures.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by BlueBridge (first published July 1st 2010)
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Sep 21, 2014 Francine rated it it was amazing
This book is written clearly and concisely; the author's language puts you into the world of Catherine of Siena.

This was, clearly, a remarkable woman who lived only 33 years (about half of it in her religious role) and who was and is still revered in the Roman Catholic Church.

She lived at a time of great upheaval in Italy when city-states did little more than battle each other. In addition, the papacy was a total mess with 2 and eventually 3 popes claiming supremacy at the same time.

Catherine wa
Oct 04, 2016 Noel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic
Catherine of Siena was a truly phenomenal woman by the standards of any age. Her story is fascinating whether you approach it as a window into the politics and history of the time, or if you look for tales of heroic Christian virtue and devotion. That being said, there are elements of her story that are just plain weird or extreme… I thought that the author handled these things quite well by putting his subject in the context of her time. He references theology, spirituality and history without ...more
Katie Marquette
Jul 16, 2014 Katie Marquette rated it liked it
It is a difficult task to write a biography about a woman who lived over eight hundred years ago. It is even more difficult when that woman is a saint. Hagiographies and devotions cloud our vision and make it difficult to discern who Catherine di Benicasa really was. Brophy does an admirable job of being as accurate as possible, often critical of sources (particularly of Raymond of Capua, her confessor who wrote The Life of Catherine and secured her canonization). He still falls into reverential ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Kris rated it really liked it
Interesting bio of a fascinating person. Well written…describes the political turmoil of the time period very well. Places Catherine within the context of Italy in the late middle ages -- plague and death were everywhere, and religious beliefs and practices were very different than what modern readers are accustomed to. Amazing, really, what this uneducated woman was able to accomplish. Now I want to get to know her more intimately -- next on my reading list will be her Letters.
Jul 12, 2010 Sara rated it liked it
Recommended to Sara by: David Smith
This was a very interesting read. There were parts that seemed so impossible and other parts that were inspiring. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about the subject matter, but the writting was done very well. Some biographies are so boring because the auhor wasn't really interested in the person, or couldn't convey their interest in the person into their writting. In this book, I could tell that the author was interested in Catherine's life and he made it fun to read.
Apr 23, 2014 Terri rated it really liked it
This is probably one of the best biographies I have read of Catherine of Siena. I liked the way the author used many quotations from her original writings and from The Dialog. He did a very good job of placing this saint in a historical context which helped to understand why she chose certain actiivities.
Luann Yetter
Apr 18, 2014 Luann Yetter rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this biography. Don Brophy wrote about his subject with reverence but also with a clear, contemporary view point.
May 12, 2012 Deborah rated it really liked it
More history about Cathrine's time, than explanation of her important writings, but a good background for studying her life and work.
Jun 17, 2014 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Fantastic view of life in France when Catherine lived. Taken from her letters and letters of others this provides a rich historical biography of a woman well worth exploring.
David Sobczak
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Cathy Doyle
Aug 03, 2012 Cathy Doyle rated it really liked it

Well written exploration of Catherine and her place in Italy and the Church.
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