Catherine was born into nobility in 1413. When she was still a very young child, she was sent off to live in Ferrara with the Marquis of Este. At the age of 17, Catherine joined the Franciscan Order, an order which in the later years of her membership followed the strict rules instituted by St. Clare. Catherine was renowned within the order as a talented artist and gifted writer. Most notable of her written works was her "The Seven Spiritual Weapons." Catherine was reported to have been blessed with numerous visions. On a Christmas Eve, the Blessed Mother appeared to her and presented her with the newborn Christ Child. To this day, some 500 years after her death, Catherine's body remains incorrupt, in a seated position in a chapel built especially for her.