There is no doubt in my mind that St. Catherine's extraordinary success, despite her sex and the age in which she lived, as a politician, diplomat, and theologian was not in the tiniest way up to her own natural abilities, but were the result of supernatural grace. It is quite certain that the Pope and the princes with whom she corresponded would not have lent any attention to this sickly, illitterate young lady if it had not been the case that they sensed an otherworldly authority behind her words.
It is sad that what passes for 'empowerment of women' today is frequently promotion of a woman's 'right' to pervert her own sexuality and kill her own children (I am not denying that there is other, very good, work being done in the area of promoting women's dignity and responsibility). St. Catherine shows what true female strength is about: giving oneself completely over to God and letting Him work wonders through you. This is what we are all called to do, but women can in fact easier do so than men because they tend to be naturally more disposed towards humility and care of others (cf. John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem). This is not in any way a hindrance or something to be ashamed of - it is a blessing and a gift of which at least this blockheaded male is profoundly envious.