THE ROLE OF ST. CATHERINE OF GENOA (1447-1510) IN THE REFORM OF THE CHURCH (ITALY)

RICHARD EMIL MARCHESE, Fordham University

Abstract

The theme of this study will be the life, work, thought and influence of St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510) in relation to the times in which she lived. The historical background for this work will be Renaissance Italy and the Roman Catholic Church on the eve of the Reformation. The thrust of the paper will be historical, but of necessity the author must deal with her spirituality and with various theological perspectives.^ Drawing from the Vita of St. Catherine and her wills, the author views Catherine against the background of the cultural, religious, philosophical, political and social patterns of her age. Through this analysis, the author will attempt to produce a portrait of one who exemplified many of the important currents of her times.^ In addition, other pertinent sources are employed by the author in order to examine and reflect upon Catherine's contributions to the Church's world. Among these works are: Friedrich von Hugel, The Mystical Element of Religion, Umile Bonzi da Genova, Teologia Mistica di Santa Caterina, and Cassiano Carpaneto da Langasco, Gli Ospedali Degli Incurabili.^ The author, upon examining the diverse materials available, arrives at the following conclusions: (1) Catherine was responsible for a renewal and reform within the Church through the works of charity of the Oratory of Divine Love, whose establishment she inspired. (2) As a married woman, mystic, and humanitarian she blended the active and contemplative life in a period marked by great transition.^ In viewing Catherine's role, the author views her example and her message as a major force in the story of the Catholic Reformation. ^

Subject Area

Biography|Religion, History of|History, European

Recommended Citation

MARCHESE, RICHARD EMIL, "THE ROLE OF ST. CATHERINE OF GENOA (1447-1510) IN THE REFORM OF THE CHURCH (ITALY)" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8709232.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8709232

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