Determined to live a life of holiness and perfection, she was the daughter of a high ranking official with the Marquis of Vigri. She left court at age 14 to to become a Franciscan lay member.

Catherine wrote about visions of Satan, Christ, and Christmas prompting Pope Nicholas V to appoint her Superioress of the Poor Clare convent at Ferrara. Later, she was appointed Superioress at a new Bologna convent.

Falling deathly ill during Lent in 1463, Catherine died on March 9. She was buried without a casket and dug up 18 days later when people said they smelled a sweet scent from the grave and gave her credit for miraculous cures. She often is pictured with an open book in her hand. She was canonized in 1712.