St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
The twenty fourth of twenty five children, Catherine of Siena found her voice to become a prominent figure in the history of Catholicism for her steadfast strength of character and her mystical writings. She is one of only four female doctors of the Church.
She was an ambassador for peace in the region and made her opinions known in political affairs, something quite rare for a woman in the Middle Ages. She travelled throughout Italy and wrote letters to advocate for peace between principalities. It is said, that through her influence, she stimulated the return of the Pope from Avignon to Rome in 1376. She confronted church leaders who were shying away from their responsibilities. She said ‘proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.’
Catherine resisted the life of marriage and motherhood and chose instead to live following the order of the Dominicans. In the last few years of her life, she wrote a ‘Dialogue’, which includes hundreds of letters, teachings, and prayers, and is well-known in early Italian literature.
You can read more about St. Catherine of Siena at Britannica