Like many of you, we\’ve been monitoring the ongoing coverage of the spread of COVID-19. Of course, as cloistered nuns we don\’t get out much! But we do have public Mass every day, and people who work for us, and who help us with things like shopping. Above all, we want to take a calm middle path: not too hysterical and not too flippant. This is difficult, because as C. S. Lewis reminds us in his book The Screwtape Letters, the devils are constantly trying to push us to one extreme or another. However, we have an outstanding patron we can turn to at this time, and she just happens to be not only a Dominican saint but also patron of nurses and co-patron of Italy. Yes–St. Catherine of Siena!
St. Catherine nursed all kinds of people through the plague in Italy during the 14th century, including many of her own young nieces and nephews, most of whom unfortunately died. She also nursed other people with serious and/or chronic conditions during her short life. She had no fear of infection, and she never got sick.
If St. Catherine was among us, she would be the first to remind us that no matter what happens, we are always in the hands of God. If we put our trust in Him, we will not be disappointed. Let us take precautions, but always rely on God.
St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us!
UPDATE: The Master General of the Dominican Order, fr. Gerard Francis Timoner, has issued a letter concerning COVID-19 and the Dominican response. We encourage you to read it here.