Saint Catherine was not only physically beautiful, but she radiated that extra joy that comes with constant closeness to Christ. It was the kind of joy which one gets from spending much time in prayer. The ongoing sickness that she suffered, along with personal criticisms, left her no less joyful. She had consecrated herself to God when she was only 7, became a Dominican tertiary (a consecrated lay person and wore the habit) at 16, and died in Rome in 1380. She is known for her mystical experiences, her zeal in defense of the papacy, and her collected writings (The Dialogues).
I believe that St. Catherine would encourage us to live joyfully, full of faith, rich in prayer, steadfast in fidelity to Christ and to his church. I hope that I have captured something of her spirit in this work, and that it might inspire you to reach toward the height of your own calling in Christ, with the aid of St. Catherine’s intercession.