Book of Saints – Catharine
CATHARINE (Saint) Virgin Martyr (November 25) (4th century) A rich and noble as well as cultured and intellectually gifted maiden of Alexandria in Egypt, who, contemning the overtures of the tyrant Maximinus Daza, was after much persecution sent into exile. On her return the tradition is that she was put to death (A.D. 310) after vain attempts to torture her into submission to heathenism, by means of an engine fitted with a spiked wheel. Her body was discovered by the Christians in Egypt and reverently interred among them. But the tradition goes on to recount how in the eighth century angels conveyed it to the top of Mount Sinai, where it is still the object of great veneration. On account of her skill and success in overthrowing in a public discussion the arguments of the Pagan Sages of Alexandria, Saint Catharine is recognized as the Patron Saint of Christian philosophers. But very little is in reality known about her life. A few lines in Eusebius seem to be a chief basis of tradition concerning her, or, at least, a witness to its genuineness.