Catherine was one of 25 children. Her family gave her the nickname "Euphrosyne" (Joy) because of her cheerful personality. Catherine had visions of Jesus, Mary, guardian angels, and the saints, and became a lay member of the Dominican Order. She wrote letters to and visited religious and civil leaders to help renew the church. One of the most brilliant minds in church history, Catherine has been given the esteemed title "Doctor of the Church."