May 28

Meet the Foundation’s Newest Board Member! | Weekly TRUTH #86


It is our honor today to introduce you to the Authentic Leadership Foundation’s newest board member: St. Catherine of Siena!

Of course, this is an honorary position, as she lived from 1347 until 1380. Not only was she an influential Italian mystic and theologian, she was also known for her deep piety and leadership within the Catholic Church. She dedicated her life to serving God, advocating for peace, and reforming the Church. Renowned for her role in persuading Pope Gregory XI to return the papacy to Rome, she exemplified courage and conviction. Her writings, particularly “The Dialogue,” offer profound spiritual insights and continue to inspire youth today by emphasizing the importance of faith, compassion, and personal integrity. St. Catherine’s legacy as a devoted servant of God and a reformer underscores her enduring relevance in guiding young people toward a life of purpose and moral strength.

This is perhaps exemplified best in her most famous quote: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” This powerful statement encapsulates her belief in living authentically according to God’s purpose and using one’s unique gifts to make a profound impact on the world. As a member of the Dominican Order, St. Catherine lived a life of intense prayer, service, and devotion to the Church. She was known for her letters, many of which she wrote to influential figures, urging them to live virtuously and fulfill their divine calling.

But her lessons apply to all of us, and the context of this quote aligns beautifully with the mission of the Authentic Leadership Foundation. St. Catherine speaks to the importance of self-discovery and God-given purpose, encouraging young people to seek their unique path and make a difference in the world. It is for these reasons, and the values of faith, courage, and commitment she embodied, that we’re honored to introduce St. Catherine as an honorary board member, and spiritual leader of the Foundation.

IMAGE: Baldassare Franceschini, Saint Catherine of Siena, 17th century. Dulwich Picture Gallery (public domain)

About the author 

Darren Smith

Darren Smith is Co-Founder of the Authentic Leadership Institute. He is a native Texan and a graduate of Dallas Jesuit and Texas A&M University. Over the past 25 years, Darren has visited 35 countries and led 100 strategy programs. He and his wife have five children.


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