Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Great Martyr Katharine

Katharine was the daughter of King Constus. After the death of her father, she lived with her mother in Alexandria. Her mother was secretly a Christian who, through her spiritual father, brought Katharine to the Christian Faith. In a vision, St. Katharine received a ring from the Lord Jesus Himself as a sign of her betrothal to Him. This ring remains on her finger even today.

Katharine was greatly gifted by God and was well educated in Greek philosophy, medicine, rhetoric and logic. In addition to that, she was of unusual physical beauty. When the iniquitous Emperor Maxentius offered sacrifices to the idols and ordered others to do the same, Katharine boldly confronted the emperor and denounced his idolatrous errors. The emperor, seeing that she was greater than he in wisdom and knowledge, summoned fifty of his wisest men to debate with her on matters of faith and to put her to shame. Katharine outwitted and shamed them. In a rage, the emperor ordered all fifty of those men burned. By St. Katharine's prayers, all fifty confessed the name of Christ and declared themselves Christians before their execution.

After Katharine had been put in prison, she converted the emperor's commander, Porphyrius, and two hundred soldiers to the true Faith, as well as Empress Augusta-Vasilissa herself. They all suffered for Christ. During the torture of St. Katharine, an angel of God came to her and destroyed the wheel on which the holy virgin was being tortured. Afterward, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself appeared to her and comforted her. After many tortures, Katharine was beheaded at the age of eighteen, on November 24, 310 (December 7 new style). Milk, instead of blood, flowed from her body. Her miracle-working relics repose on Mount Sinai.

From the Prologue of Ochrid


Mat. Emily said...

Happy Namesday, Sister. I hope that it was a good one! It will be the last one you have as a single lady!

Matushka said...

Many years! Do you have this ring? I somehow have this ring too. I don't remember where or how I got it. My daughter's name is Katherine.


willfulmina said...

Yes, my dad brought it back from Mt. Sinai for me. Happy Nameday to your daughter!