Saint Catherine was born on March 25th, 1347 in Sienna. She had numerous brothers and sisters. Her parents were middle-class citizens.
When she was seven years old, she promised God she would stay a virgin. When she grew up her parents wanted her to get married, but she begged them to let her offer her life to God. They agreed and this made it possible for her to become a Dominican Tertiary.
Jesus told her that it was His will that she bring change in the Catholic Church, which suffered from big corruptions in that period.
In " Lay Siege to Heaven " (ebook) you can get a very clear sight of how God moved in her soul and in which way she persuaded the Pope to return to Rome.
The Holy See had moved to Avignon, due to many conflicts between cardinals. This was because some Cardinals would support the real Pope, Pope Gregory XI, while others would support the anti-pope.
Saint Catherine had a great love for every soul and there never was one sinner who came to her and did not convert.
" The Life of Saint Catherine", described by her spiritual director, was so full of mystical experiences that you wonder at God's intervention in the affairs of men. Up to seven years before her death, she lived on nothing but the Holy Eucharist!
She received the stigmata in 1365, but there were no visible marks on her. In the year 1366 she had a vision of Jesus giving her a wedding ring which she wore till the day she died, at the age of 33 years.
In "The Secret of the Heart", by Sr. Mary Jeremiah, theologian and contemplative Dominican, we can read about the her deep spirituality. He focused on her intimate and loving relationship with Jesus. She died exactly at the same age of her Mystical Spouse, Jesus!
This Saint possessed so many gifts of the Holy Spirit, too numerous to mention. Bishops, priests, all felt their hearts melt down when being in the presence of this brave and holy woman!
She was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970. This was because of her learned correspondence and her teachings full of wisdom.
She died on april 29 1380. This is also her feast day. She was canonized by Pope Pius II in 1461.