Born in Siena in 1347. When Catherine was 16 years old, motivated by a vision of St Dominic, she entered the Third Order of the Dominicans, the female branch known as the Mantellate. While living at home, she confirmed her vow of virginity made privately when she was still an adolescent and dedicated herself to prayer, penance and works of charity, especially for the benefit of the sick. Catherine was twenty years old when Christ showed his special love for her through the mystical symbol of a wedding ring. This was the culmination of an intimacy which had matured in hiddenness and in contemplation, thanks to her constantly abiding, even outside the monastic walls, in that spiritual dwelling-place which she loved to call her “interior cell”. She was quickly able to blend the silence of this cell, which rendered her completely docile to God’s inspirations, with remarkable apostolic activity. When the fame of her holiness spread, she became the protagonist of an intense activity of spiritual guidance for people from every walk of life including Pope Gregory XI who was living at Avignon in that period and whom she energetically and effectively urged to return to Rome. She travelled widely to press for the internal reform of the Church and to foster peace among the States. She died in Rome on 29 April 1380. She was canonized in 1461.