Thursday 25 November 2021

saint catherine of alexandria

Counted among the Fourteen Holy Helpers, one of the counsellors who appeared to Joan of Arc and whose cult according to some academics was cover for sympathies for the murder and defamation of Greek philosopher Hypatia with a broad patronage that includes potters, millers, milliners and spinners for her tortured martyrdom on the breaking-wheel, scholars, scribes, secretaries, stenographers, etc. was a late third century daughter of the governor of the Egyptian centre of learning who converted to Christianity, aged fourteen, and evangelised to many with her winning eloquence and persuasive reasoning—and is venerated on this day. Once persecutions of Christians resumed under the reign of Maxentius, Catherine embarked to Rome and rebuked the emperor. Rather than dispatching with her instantly, the emperor instead assembled a retinue of fifty of his most skilled and pagan orators to challenge Catherine to a debate and refute her arguments. Not only did Catherine roundly carry the day, her words also managed to garner some new converts to the faith, all of whom were summarily put to death with Catherine confined in a dungeon and made to endure terrible tortures daily. A dove and a host angels healed her wounds nightly and Catherine survived her torment for twelve days, persuading the emperor to ultimately proposing marriage to her. Refusing to yield to Maxentius’ overtures, Catherine said she was happily taken by her spouse, Jesus Christ. Enraged, the emperor first had her bound to a spiked breaking wheel (now also known as a Catherine Wheel) and then beheaded for good measure.