Rutilio Manetti (Siena 1571-1639), Santa Caterina (part.). sec. XVII, olio su tela. Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale, inv. n. IBS45

It may seem rather strange to dedicate a Centre of Studies to a person who learnt to read with remarkable difficulty and managed to hold a pen in her hand not before being thirty of age. It is equally strange, however, that such “illiterate” woman of Siena is the first name of woman writer in the History of Italian Literature and that she was rewarded for her writings with the title of Doctor of the Universal Church. In order to gain awareness of this apparent anomaly it suffices to examine Catherine of Siena’s work and to set her figure against her own historical background.


The International Centre for Catherinian Studies (CISC) is a non-profit making private association, committed to the promotion of the studies about St. Catherine of Siena and her writings, their religious as well as cultural and historic contexts and the spread of Catherinian thought and spirituality.

In order to achieve this objective, the International Centre for Catherinian Studies makes its library available to users (with a catalogue on line), carries out a service of specific bibliographical documentation, offers also long-distance consultancy. It also takes care of publications and promotes interdisciplinary research-work in philological, historical, iconographic and theological studies, also in collaboration with other cultural authorities and with experts in various fields.

CISC’S Members (Ordinary, Well-Deserved, Honorary, Corresponding) participate in the Centre’s initiatives to a varying extent.

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