Great Martyr St
Commemorated November 25
Katherine, as a girl was not a Christian. She lived in the
early fourth century Alexandria with her mother, a
Christian, who raised her with the finest education.
Katherine's mother took her to a holy man who began to
describe Jesus Christ to her. He told her to pray all night
before an icon of the Theotokos and Jesus. When Katherine
fell asleep, she saw a vision of the Theotokos and Jesus,
but Christ would not look at her, saying that she was
unworthy. Jesus told her to return to the elder for
instructions, which she did. The elder baptized her and sent
her to keep a vigil all night and to fast and pray. She saw
the vision again, but Jesus told her she was now worthy to
behold. He gave her a ring, which was also on her finger
when she awoke, and remains on her finger to this day.
The emperor Maximinus commanded a festival to be held to
the gods and many animals were sacrificed. Watching this in
sadness, Katherine went to the emperor and told him that his
gods were demons of fantasies and illusions. She told him
that there was only one God, whose word maintains the
Maximinus, fearing that she would embarrass him,
assembled 150 orators to debate her. The Archangel Michael
appeared and told her that God would add to her wisdom, and
that she would save many. She refuted the orators with the
words of their poets who proclaimed the gods, and she used
the words of their gods who foretold of the times of Jesus
Christ. The emperor condemned the 150 to death by fire.
Before they died, Katherine made the sign of the Cross over
them as she had converted them. They all died, but not even
a hair of their heads was singed.
The emperor tried to win Katherine by flattery, to no
avail. She was beaten, bloodied, and imprisoned. The
emperor's wife, his military commander, and 200 soldiers
visited Katherine in prison, and all became Christians, but
were beheaded by the emperor.
The emperor then asked Katherine to be his queen, if only
she would worship his idols. When she refused, she went to
the place of execution, followed by a crowd who mourned her.
She told the unbelievers to mourn their own demise.
She prayed and was beheaded at the age of 18. Milk flowed
from her wound. Her fragrant relics are at St Katherine's
monastery at Mount Sinai.