Catherine was born into an aristocratic family in Genoa. At the age of 16 she was forced into an arranged marriage for political and financial reasons. The marriage was not the happiest of marriages. Catherine did not bare any children, and spent most of her time in seclusion, or engaged in social activity. At the age of 26, Catherine experience a religious conversion, and decided to devote her life to caring for the poor and sick, and in the process converted her husband as well. During her life, Catherine wrote many spiritual dialogues on Purgatory and the spiritual life. Her feast day is celebrated on September 15th.