St. Catherine of Siena (no. 7)
St. Catherine of Siena (no. 7)

Catherine of Siena (March 25, 1347 - April 29, 1380), was a mystic, activist, and writer who had a great influence on Italian literature and the Catholic Church. She was canonized in 1461 and is also a Doctor of the Church. Born and raised in Siena, from an early age she wanted to dedicate herself to God against the will of her parents. Her influence on Pope Gregory XI played a role in his decision to move from Avignon to Rome in 1376. The pope then sent Catherine to negotiate peace with Florence. After Gregory's death XI (March 1378) and the conclusion of peace (July 1378), she returned to Siena. The great schism of the West prompted Catherine of Siena to go to Rome with the Pope. She sent numerous letters to princes and cardinals to encourage obedience to Pope Urban VI and to defend what she called the "vessel of the Church." She died on April 29, 1380, exhausted from her rigorous fasting. Urban VI celebrated her funeral and burial in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. Catherine of Siena is one of the outstanding figures of medieval Catholicism due to her strong influence on the history of the papacy and her extensive authorship. er dialog, hundreds of letters and dozens of prayers also give her a prominent place in the history of Italian literature.