Iacomo di Benincasa

Catherine’s father who belonged to the wool guild in Siena. Raymond of Capua describes the family as, “belonged to a highly respectable class and enjoyed a considerable degree of comfort”1 Scholars have long assumed that Catherine came from a modest home but Thomas Luongo argues that her family were not simply wool dyers, instead that Iacomo was a wool shop owner, a distinct difference for Fourteenth- century class status. Iacomo died in 1368 before Catherine became a popular figure but according to Raymond, he fully believed she was holy. Raymond tells of Iacomo entering Catherine’s room and a white dove hovered over Catherine which signaled her holy destiny and from that moment on he supported her aspirations of spiritual living. Raymond supports this by describing that, “Iacomo had granted his daughter the fullest liberty in giving alms to the poor.”2