The dialogues have been a classic since they were composed in Italian in the 14th century. St. Catherine herself was a powerful figure of her time. She was given to severe penances and is said to have manifested stigmata on her body. She labored personally with prayer and works of mercy throughout her life and is famous for playing an instrumental rule in healing "the great schism of the West," when there were a number of popes claiming to govern the Roman Catholic church. St. Catherine
was canonized in 1461 and declared a doctor of the church in 1939.