Wednesday, November 25, 2009

St Catherine Of Alexandria:Patroness of East And West

St Catherine of Alexandria with Symbols of her Martyrdom

I have always been captivated by the lives of the saints, but the lesser known ones really seem to get my attention. Such is the case with the saint whose feast we celebrate today~St Catherine of Alexandria.
Not much is known of this woman who was born in the year 282 and died in 305. Although much of her life remains a mystery, enough is known that this saint is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as well as several Orthodox Churches.
She is sometimes known as Catherine of the Wheel because she was sentenced to die by the breaking wheel, an instrument of torture. Legend has it that when she touched the wheel, it broke, so she was beheaded instead.
St. Catherine of Alexandria by Caravaggio

Another legend says that she was carried by the angels to Mount Sinai, where in the 6th century the emperor Justinian built St Catherine's monastery. As intriguing as the legends are, there is very little evidence to support their validity. However this does not diminish her power as an intercessor. Most versions of her legends establish that at the moment of her death, she entreats God to answer the prayers of those who invoke her name.
St Catherine is patroness to many~ philosophers, theologians, schoolchildren, nurses, and those who work with a wheel (potters, spinners etc) are just to name a few.
So no matter what your state in life, say a prayer to St Catherine of Alexandria today, this wise and courageous virgin who went with lighted lamp to meet her Lord.

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Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.