St Catherine (282-305) was the beautiful daughter and scholar of a pagan King and Queen who ruled Alexandria in Egypt.
At about fourteen, following an appearance from the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Catherine converted to Christianity and gave herself in mystical marriage to Jesus. Her beliefs and actions influenced many others who followed her example and likewise, converted to Christianity. Emperors, rulers and great philosophers attempted to dispute her teachings but she outwitted them with her pro-Christian arguments. In the process, several of them converted to Christianity but they were immediately martyred by the Roman Emperor.
St Catherine was then imprisoned and tortured in the hope that she would relinquish her faith but she refused. Many visited her in prison including, the then Emperors wife. Sadly, those who visited and converted were also executed.
Emperor Maxentius also tried to win her over by proposing marriage. Again she refused, so in his fury, he ordered her execution by the “Breaking Wheel.” (The execution process involved tying the subject to a cartwheel, breaking their bones with hammers or other available instruments and leaving them to die – it was a barbarous form of torture and execution.) The wheel, however, miraculously fell apart when St Catherine touched it so, he ordered her immediate beheading.
St Catherine’s body was taken to Mount Sinai and buried at what is now known as St Catherine’s Monastery. She is one of the Saints who appeared to St Joan of Arc.
St Catherine’s Feast Day is the 25th November. She is among the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Patron Saint of parts of the Philippines and Patron Saint of many professions.
St Catherine of Alexandria:
Pray that we will live a life of purity and avoid the daily temptations and sinful desires which separate us from our Almighty Father.
Glory be to the…