Saint Catherine of Siena was a tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She is one of the two patron saints of Italy, together with St. Francis of Assisi. St. Catherine was one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day, although she never had any formal education. In about 1366, Catherine experienced what she described in her letters as a "Mystical Marriage" with Jesus, later a popular subject in art as the Mystic marriage of Saint Catherine. Other miracles recounted in Raymond of Capua's biography include her reception of the stigmata and her receiving communion from Christ himself. Raymond also records that she was told by Christ to leave her withdrawn life and enter the public life of the world. Catherine dedicated much of her life to helping the ill and the poor, where she took care of them in hospitals or homes. St, Catherine's letters, and a treatise called "a dialogue" are considered among the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church.
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