When in Rome for the Feast of Saint Catherine

The Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena is on April 29th.

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Though she’s from Siena, she lived and died in Rome. Her tomb is located under the main altar in the basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, just behind the Pantheon.

The tomb is located under the main altar.

The tomb is located under the main altar.

The tomb can be visited anytime the church is open.

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However, on her feast day, the church opens the area below the altar so that you can venerate the actual tomb.

The line access the tomb.

The line access the tomb.

Entering the tomb.

Entering the tomb.

Under the altar.

Under the altar.

A nun venerates the tomb of Saint Catherine on her feast day.

A nun venerates the tomb of Saint Catherine on her feast day.

At 6:00 p.m. there is a beautiful solemn Mass to celebrate her feast day. Following the Mass, it is possible to venerate the tomb.

My daughter praying over the tomb of her Patron Saint.

My daughter praying over the tomb of her Patron Saint.

To see even more of Saint Catherine, head on over to Siena. Though she was buried in Rome, her spiritual director knew that Siena would want to have a part of her as well. He went to her tomb, and her head separated from her body, so he sent it to Siena. Her head, and a finger, are located in her home parish, San Domenico.

No photos are allowed.

No photos are allowed. But sometimes you can sneak a bad photo.

The town used to process her Holy Head through the streets. But after several failed attempts to steal it, they locked it away for good. Three different people hold three different keys to three different locks. All must be present to open the reliquary holding the head. Access to the locks is in a small chapel off the sacristy.

Three locks protect the Holy Head of Saint Catherine.

Three locks protect the Holy Head of Saint Catherine.

Since San Domenico doesn’t have her full body, they only have a four star rating on Trip Advisor.

Since San Domenico doesn't have her full body, they only have a four star rating on Trip Advisor.

Since San Domenico doesn’t have her full body, they only have a four star rating on Trip Advisor.

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