Catherine of Siena
St. Catherine of Siena was born in 1347 to a family that already had 23 children. Early on, she identified herself as an activist, even cutting off her hair to show her parents that she vehemently refused to marry. She developed a habit of self-imposed solitude, only emerging for mass. When she was eighteen she joined a group of women called the Mantellate, who served the poor and sick in the community. Two years later she had a mystical experience that caused her to devote her life solely to God.
Catherine became widely sought after for her theological viewpoints and ability to interpret the Bible, and even the Pope asked for her counsel. Her thoughts survive in her work Dialogue, in which she sets up a theological debate with God. In it she develops love and truth as the only ways to strive for the perfection of God. Catherine always labored first out of love for God, and died after years of fasting and penance when she was only thirty-three.