The “Centro Nazionale di Studi Cateriniani” (since 2008 “Centro Internazionale di Studi Cateriniani” – CISC) was founded in Rome in 1940 by Mario Felice Bianchi (1885-1966), free-lance journalist and promoter of a number of Catherinian initiatives, among which St. Catherine’s Followers’ Association (“Corporazione dei Caterinati”).
On 28th March 1963, by request of Bianchi himself, Luigia Tincani assumed the office of promoter and took the chair of the National Centre for Caterinian Studies. Since 1933 she had started a small publishing activity (“Edizioni Cateriniane”) and in the Post-war period (March 1947), on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of St. Catherine’s birth, she had started publishing the collections “Quaderni Cateriniani” and “Corona Aurea”.
In April 1963 four “Quaderni Cateriniani” were published, among which one by Luigia Tincani herself Santa Caterina da Siena per la Chiesa e per il Papa.
Among the first members and supporters there were the Dominicans Fathers Luigi Ciappi, theologian of the Papal See, Antonino Silli and Tarsicio Piccari (secretaries of the Institute of Art “Beato Angelico” near St. Maria sopra Minerva). The first Statute dated back to 1978, in compliance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Education; since 2009 a new Statute has been enforced.
On 30th April 1962, on the terrace of St. Angel’s Castle, a Monument to St. Catherine, was inaugurated. The monument had been promoted by the National Centre for Catherinian Studies, which worked in close collaboration with the Dominican Family, entrusting the work to the sculptor Francesco Messina. The splendid statue well-expresses the concern which, in the most dramatic days of Rome’s schism, induced Catherine to go to St. Peter’s, while the bass-relief well-highlights some moments of her mission. Since 1962, on 29th April near the monument the Council of Rome has paid a floral homage to the Patron saint woman of the City in the course of a public ceremony promoted by the International Centre of Catherinian Studies.
From 1963 onwards Giuliana Cavallini was Deputy-Chairperson and then she became the Director of the Centre supported by the second Chairperson Anna Maria Balducci. Giuliana Cavallini renewed the Catherinian Studies on solid philological groundings, focussing her attention on the edition of the Dialogue (1968; 19952) and of the Prayers (1978). Her fruitful collaboration with Italian and foreign scholars developed into a complex network of lectures and cycles of seminars run both in Italy and abroad.
S. Boesch Gajano, Giuliana Cavallini e gli studi cateriniani: il senso di una svolta.
The philological studies were sided by iconographical research-work under the care of Lidia Bianchi and then of Diega Giunta, who succeeded Giuliana Cavallini in the directorship of the CISC.