St. Catherine of Alexandria

* born early 4th century in Alexandria, Egypt
+ died approx. 311-313, Alexandria, Egypt
Feast day 25th November

One of the most popular early Christian martyrs. She is not mentioned before the 9th century, and her historicity is doubtful. According to the legend, she was an educated young girl of noble birth who protested the persecution of Christians under the Roman emperor Maxentius, whose wife and several soldiers she converted, and defeated the most eminent scholars summoned by Maxentius to oppose her.

Catherine was then scourged and imprisoned, during which time over 200 people came to see her, including Maxentius' wife, the Empress; all converted to Christianity and were subsequently martyred. Upon the failure of Maxentius to make Catherine yield by way of torture, he tried to win the beautiful and wise princess over by proposing marriage. The saint refused, declaring that her spouse was Jesus Christ, to whom she had consecrated her virginity. The furious emperor condemned Catherine to death on the spiked breaking wheel, but, at her touch, this instrument of torture was miraculously destroyed. Maxentius finally had her beheaded.

Catherine is usually depicted as richly dressed and crowned, regarding her noble birth. She holds her martyrdom attributes: broken spiked wheel, sword or martyr's palm.


ZKSM logo Ministerstvo Kultury SR Zachranme hrady - logo Ministerstvo Financii SR Obec Dechtice Obec Naháč Obec Chtelnica