|By Matteo Loves via Wikimedia Commons|
The first daughter of the Duke of Parma, she married Francesco I d'Este of Modena when she was just 16 years old. Her new territory had recently been ravaged by a pestilence that killed 70% of the population. This tragedy did not dampen her husband's ambitions; in the Thirty Years War, he cast his lot with Spain, and invaded his wife's homeland of Parma.
Meanwhile, Maria Caterina was busy doing her wifely duty. In 15 years, she delivered nine children, the last of which killed her. A year and a half later, her widower married her younger sister, Vittoria.