The Shrine of the House of Saint Catherine

Left wall

Entering the room, on the left, preceded by the canvas of Blessed Giovanni Colombini by Alessandro Casolani, you see the first of the three large scenes that decorate the wall, painted by Pietro Sorri in 1587 and featuring Catherine Freeing a Girl Possessed by a Devil. The Saint herself was tempted by the devil on several occasions, but, with the help of divine grace, she never yielded to his attacks.

The next painting, by Cristoforo Roncalli, known as Pomarancio, dated 1582, shows Saint Catherine miraculously receiving Holy Communion. The scene takes place in the Basilica of San Domenico, where during Mass, at the moment when the priest breaks the Bread, Jesus Christ manifested Himself to Catherine and gave Himself to her, flooding her with a ray of light. At various times during her life, Saint Catherine received the Eucharist directly from Jesus. In contrast with the custom of her time, Catherine was used to taking Communion every day, turning to her confessor with the words, “Father, I’m hungry.” She considered the consecrated Host to be her soul’s nourishment and an extraordinary gift of love which God renews to us constantly as fuel for our journey of faith.

The third painting, by Lattanzio Bonastri around 1580, bears witness to Catherine’s mercy towards the imprisoned and those sentenced to death, whom she visited periodically, always seeking the conversion . . .

  • Alessandro Casolani, Blessed Giovanni Colombini, 16th century.
  • Pietro Sorri, Saint Catherine Freeing a Girl Possessed by a Devil, 1587.
  • Cristoforo Roncalli, known as Pomarancio, The Miraculous Communion of Saint Catherine, 1582.
  • Lattanzio Bonastri, The Conversion of Prisoners Sentenced to Death, 1580.
  • Gaetano Marinelli, Blessed Ambrogio Sansedoni, 1872.