SETTING THE WORLD ON FIRE


SETTING THE WORLD ON FIRE

SHELLEY EMLING    Book Number: 85154    Product format: Hardback

Sub-titled 'The Brief, Astonishing Life of St Catherine of Siena', here is the first modern, secular biography of Italy's answer to Joan of Arc. Only one of two patron saints of Italy, the other being St Francis of Assisi, St Catherine was a political powerhouse in mid 14th century Europe. It was a time of war, social unrest and one of the worst natural disasters of all time - the plague. She worked for peace between Christians, while campaigning for a Holy Crusade against the Muslims. Although illiterate she grew into a great writer and although frail, she often starved herself. She offered moral guidance and inspiration to kings, queens and popes and it is easy to see why feminists have sought to claim her patronage. From her refusal to marry to her assertions that her physical appearance was of no importance, the famous saint is ripe for modern interpretation. How did a girl, the second youngest of 25 children of a middle class dyer, grow up to become one of the most beloved spiritual figures of all time? She is a theological giant to rank alongside the likes of Thomas Aquinas. Galvanised by her faith, Catherine attempted her first fast when she was only six or seven years old, just after Jesus came to her in a vision, the first of many that would power her extraordinary life. By adroitly blending boldness with humility, Catherine persuaded Pope Gregory XI to return the papacy from France to Rome and told him, 'Esto vir!' You are the man. Canonised by Pope Pius II in 1461, Catherine was the original breaker of glass ceilings, completely and utterly selfless, refreshing and motivating. Her core message was that every Christian is called to live 'In the blood', that is in service to his or her neighbour. In her famous words: 'Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.' St Catherine of Siena was one woman who did just that. 226pp, US first edition 2016.
Published price: £18.99
Bibliophile price: £3.00


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ISBN 9781137279804
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