St. Catherine of Siena is recognized as one of the most remarkable mystical theologians of the Middle Ages. She was also a stigmatist, counsellor of popes and is one of only three women to be made a Doctor of the Church.
The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena treats of the whole spiritual life of man in the form of a series of colloquies between the Eternal Father and the human soul (represented by Catherine herself). The structure of the Dialogue is unusual: the saint makes four petitions to God - for herself, for the Church, for the whole world, and for the assurance of Gods providence in all things. The rest of the book is devoted to Gods response to these four petitions.
Catherine of Siena
St. Catherine of Siena was born to Giacomo and Lapa Benincasa at Siena, Italy, in 1347, the second youngest of a very large family. She began to experience God mystically before she turned seven. Frequent visions of Christ, Mary, angels and saints inspired her holy, austere lifestyle and prompted her to take the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries at age 16, despite her parents' wish for her to marry and the untimely death of two of her sisters. Enabled by a miracle to read and write, the formerly illiterate St. Catherine authored "The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena" and hundreds of letters asking for peace with the Papal States and the return of the Pope from Avignon to Rome. Her passionate yet humble pleas persuaded the Pope to return to Rome, where she herself died at the age of 33. She was canonized by Pope Pius II in 1461, and her feast is celebrated on April 29.