Catherine and Jesus
At about 6 years old, Catherine was out walking with her cousins. She looked up to the sky and stopped. She had a vision of Jesus, dressed as a Bishop, surrounded by Sts. Peter, Paul and John, seated on a throne, giving her a special blessing from heaven. This was the first of her mystical experiences. She had visions of Jesus, Mary, saints and angels throughout her life.
At 21, while praying in her room, Jesus and His mother, Mary appeared to her. Mary took her hand, gave it to Jesus and then He placed a ring on her finer. Only Catherine could see this ring; it was her reminder of the constant presence of Jesus in her life. After this mystical espousal, she began to leave her home and go and care for the sick and poor in her town.
In 1375 Catherine received the greatest gift from Jesus, the stigmata. The five wounds of Christ caused her to faint from the pain of receiving them. No one could see these wounds until her death 5 years later.
Catherine lived a very austere life. It is said that for 10 years she lived with only the Eucharist as nourishment and trying to take food caused her great pain. She slept little, spending hours in prayer after taking care of others.