The Miraculous Communion of Saint Catherine of Siena

Domenico di Pace Beccafumiabout 1513 - 1515

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

This small panel depicts an episode from the life of the Dominican tertiary and mystic, Saint Catherine of Siena. Upon arriving at church late one day because of her difficulty walking, Saint Catherine was dissuaded by her companions from taking communion because they knew her ensuing ecstasy would last for several hours. She concurred but prayed for God's help in receiving the Eucharist. Miraculously, an angel took a piece of the consecrated host and gave it to the saint. Celebrating Mass at a side altar, her confessor looked around with concern for the missing piece of the host. Neither he nor the others could see the miracle, so their expressions reflect bewilderment.

This panel and its companion, Saint Catherine of Siena Receiving the Stigmata, were probably made for the predella of an altarpiece dedicated to the saint.

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  • Title: The Miraculous Communion of Saint Catherine of Siena
  • Creator: Domenico Beccafumi
  • Date: about 1513 - 1515
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 28.9 x 41.3 cm (11 3/8 x 16 1/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil and gold leaf on panel
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 97.PB.26
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum North Pavilion, Gallery N204
  • Department: Paintings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Paintings