Original Research

Continuous prayer in Catherine of Siena

Diana L. Villegas
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4611 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4611 | © 2017 Diana L. Villegas | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 2017 | Published: 14 August 2017

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Diana L. Villegas, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, South Africa

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Catherine of Siena offers considerable wisdom regarding continuous prayer. However, this wisdom in not well known because it is scattered among her texts, including over 373 letters, and is expressed in images and metaphors, the product of oral communication by a 14th-century woman with no formal education. Through a literary analysis of original texts, I will show the interconnection among the meanings of her symbolic communications, offering a narrative about continuous prayer. I will explore the meaning of inner cell and time spent in this cell for knowledge of self and God. I will show how this dual knowledge results in transformation of the deepest motivation at the core of the person. Living consciously and for God’s kingdom out of this transformed core of the self constitutes continuous prayer.


Catherine of Siena; prayer; transformation; presence of God; continuous prayer


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