When she was six, Jesus appeared to her in the attire of a Supreme Pontiff, with three crowns on his head and a red mantle, next to him St. Peter, St. John and St. Paul. At 7 he made a vow of virginity, and her days were not dedicated to children's plays, but to prayer, penance and fasting: she reduced food and sleep, abolished meat and ate raw herbs and fruits.
At age 12, while young Catherine wished to enter the Dominican order, her parents wanted her to marry, but she reacted strongly: she cut her hair, covered her head with a veil and shut herself up in the house. Then, one day the father saw a dove hovering over his daughter in prayer, and accepted her choice.
At age 16 she took her religious vows in the Third Order, called the "mantellate" (for their a black Dominican mantle over a white tunic); this congregation included mostly mature women or widows who continued to live in the world, but keeping the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity.
At the end of the Carnival 1367, during a vision, that will always remain present in the mind and heart of St. Catherine, the Blessed Virgin presented her to Jesus, who gave her a splendid ruby ring, saying, "I, your Creator and Savior, take you in marriage; confident that you will keep pure until you celebrate your eternal wedding with me in Paradise".
She began an intense charitable activity for the poor, the sick, the prisoners, while Europe was devastated by pestilence, famine, wars. Meanwhile she lived a mystic's life, full of struggles with the devil, levitation, ecstasy, bilocation, talks with Christ.