Devotion to the Holy Martyrs has always been a distinctive mark of the Christian faithful.  From the earliest ages of the Church until the present their witness to Christ has inspired believers to honor their tombs and to trust in the power of their prayers before the throne of God.  The catacombs attest to this in ancient times, and in our own time John Paul II named the century just passed a “century of martyrs.”  Let us go to them then with confidence praying for all the Church in need throughout the world and for our own needs at home. 

Saint Catherine was a woman of Alexandria in Egypt at the Nile Delta.  In antiquity this was a center of learning for the whole world.  According to tradition, she obtained an education in philosophy and the liberal arts and so was able to dispute with pagan teachers.  This drew down on her unwanted attention, since she was a Christian and a woman besides, and so she was martyred, showing valiant courage.  She is often shown in Christian art being espoused to the Infant Jesus by the Blessed Mother. Her relics were transferred from Alexandria to Mount Sinai where they rest to this day near the shrine of the Burning Bush which appeared to Moses.  St. Catherine’s feast is November 24th in the Roman rite.

Prayer to St. Catherine, Virgin and Martyr

O Wise Woman St. Catherine, learned in the things of God, by your prayers to your heavenly spouse, Jesus Christ and your love for His Blessed Mother, obtain for all the faithful throughout the world sound instruction and formation in the faith. 

Teach us to defend our faith from error and worldly illusion and teach us to spread our faith with zeal for the good of our brothers and sisters in need.  May we come with you to see the face of the God Who Is, even Christ the Lord, who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Amen

 

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