The Holy GreatMartyress Catherine: the life, honor, icons, prayer (+Video)

December 7 (November 24 old style) – the feast day of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, is still revered as the Orthodox and the Catholic Church.

The Holy GreatMartyress Catherine

The content of the article

  • How do we know about her?
  • The life of Catherine prior to treatment
  • The mystical betrothal of St. Catherine
  • The witness of faith
  • Martyrdom
  • Honoring
  • Life. Help
  • The history of the veneration
  • Icons and paintings
  • Prayers
  • Article

December 7 (November 24 old style) – the feast day of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, is still revered as the Orthodox and the Catholic Church.

The Holy GreatMartyress Catherine of Alexandria

About the life of Catherine, as well as the lives of the vast majority of the martyrs of the first centuries of Christianity, we know frustratingly little. The lives of the saints were compiled later centuries on the basis of the so-called martyries (“martyrdoms”), which also were written not without delay. This genre of religious literature has developed in the Byzantine Empire and combined the hagiography, and fiction. The authors of martyriev adhere to certain story lines and main focus, of course, paid the deed of martyrdom of saints, at the same time paying attention to their dreams, thoughts and feelings. However, the chronology and the historical realities of the majority of martyriev are so vague or controversial that scientists do not consider them significant sources.

Of course, for the believer in the life of St. the important thing is not so much a biography, as the indication of ardent faith, love for the Lord and willingness to give their life for Him. It’s role models, moral guidance. What about beloved saints, I want to learn as much as possible. So what do we know about the life of St. Catherine?

How do we know about her?

The main sources are the biographies of Holy martyrdom, no one attributed to Athanasius (Anastasia), who called himself a stenographer and a servant Catherine, martyrdom, compiled by Simeon Metaphrastes, three anonymous Martyrii, and “a Eulogy to Catherine” Anastasia of Protectrice. The earliest of them belongs to VI-VII centuries, based On them were later written numerous hagiographic works devoted to the great Martyr, and her biography was varied, was supplemented with new details (for example, the description of Catherine’s betrothal with the Heavenly Bridegroom appeared in her lives only in the XIV century).

States that Catherine suffered for Christ between 305 and 312. Since it is known that at the time she was 18, the year of her birth is between 287 and 294. Place of birth – Alexandria Egyptian. It is believed that Catherine was descended from a noble family, her father called a certain design of the ruler of Alexandria. However, among the Roman proconsuls the end of III – beginning of IV century man with the same name there. However, it is possible that among the ancestors of the Martyr was the Greek kings of Egypt. Is Greek and her name means “always pure.”

However, some sources indicate a possible pagan name Catherine – Dorothea. Reliable evidence of this was found. But Eusebius, a contemporary of the Saint, in his “Church history,” mentions a nameless Martyr, whose history one in one coincides with a biography of Catherine. Except for the fact that the unknown Martyr was not executed and sent into exile. The Latin translation of the Rufina Turania this woman appears under the name Dorothea. Church historian of the XVI century Caesar Baroni assumed that St. Catherine really could suffer a Martyr’s death after returning from exile.

The life of Catherine prior to treatment

The life of Catherine before baptism confirmed: you can have it all, but not to be a happy man. A noble origin, wealth, extraordinary beauty, profound intelligence, an excellent education is all that she possessed in abundance. According to the biography, written by St. Demetrius of Rostov, Catherine, “examined the creation of all pagan writers, and all the ancient poets and philosophers… knew Catherine writings of the sages of antiquity, but she also studied the works of famous doctors, in addition, she taught public speaking and dialectic art, and he knew many languages and dialects”.

Parents of Catherine were in a hurry to give his daughter in marriage, the suitors, one after another asked for her hand, but she said that he would agree to become the wife only one who will surpass her in everything – in nobility, wealth, beauty, and mind. It was hardly a manifestation of pride, rather, smart girl understood that an unequal marriage would bring her happiness, and prefer to keep themselves in the purity of virginity.

The mystical betrothal of St. Catherine

Catherine’s mother, a secret Christian, led her to her spiritual father, a Syrian monk. After talking with the girl, the old man decided to open her faith in Christ. He told Catherine that he knows the Young man, her superior in all things. The elder gave her an icon depicting the virgin with Baby Jesus in her arms, and taught the prayer in which Catherine had to ask the virgin Mary to show her the wonderful Young man Her Son. Please girls played on the same night Catherine saw in a dream the virgin Mary with the Baby in her arms. However, the Infant turned away from Catherine, not wanting to look at the person, he said, impoverished, low-born, ugly and insane – as well as any person not washed with the waters of Holy baptism.

Woke up, saddened by Catherine went for advice to the elder. To educate it in the faith, a monk made over Catherine the sacrament of baptism. The late edition of his life the Saint tells that after that she again saw in a dream the virgin and child, Who now looked affectionately at Catherine and gave her a ring in token of betrothal with the Heavenly Bridegroom. After waking up she found the ring on my finger.

The witness of faith

After some time in Alexandria for a pagan feast there has arrived the Emperor. What exactly – is unknown. It was a time of tetrarchy – the reign of the four emperors at the same time, and for the period from 305 to 312 g. the Roman Empire was ruled by no less nine emperors. Often called Maximian, Maximian and Maxentius (perhaps this confusion is because of the similarity of names), but it is most likely that it was Maximin II Daza (or Daya). First, he was Caesar and later Augustus of the Eastern part of the Empire, which included Egypt, second, went down in history primarily as wild and fierce persecutor of Christians.

Catherine decided to convince the Emperor of the falsehood of the pagan belief and to convey to him the truth about Christ. It was the Palace for the aristocracy it was possible. The Emperor was struck by her beauty and clever speeches, and because he was not ready for such dispute, was invited to the Palace fifty of the wisest philosophers and rhetoricians who were supposed to persuade her to renounce Christianity. Catherine, however, easily defeated them, proving the insignificance of the Roman gods. After the defeat in the debate scientists were sentenced to be burned at the stake. Before the execution, they accepted the Christian faith, and their remains were discovered not touched by fire, after which many more came to believe in Christ.

Martyrdom

The Emperor tried to persuade Catherine to abandon the faith in one God and to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. After the categorical refusal of the Martyr long tormented, and then put in prison. Twelve days later, the dove brought her food, and then came Christ Himself, surrounded by angels to strengthen it prior to the coming torment.

The wife of the Emperor, learning about the wisdom and virtues of Catherine, along with the captain of the porphyry and a squad of soldiers by night secretly visited her in prison. After talking with Catherine, they also believed in Christ.

Specifically to intimidate Catherine was made the instrument of torture: the axis have planted four wooden wheels, studded with iron spikes. Revolving in different directions, the wheels had to devour the body, standing between them like a Martyr, who remained firm and did not abandon Christ. The life tells of how the invisible force destroyed this structure, the wheels flew off in different directions, killing many onlookers who came to gawk at the penalty.

The image of St. Catherine with the wheel

After that, the Emperor’s wife at all denounced her husband, and confessed himself a Christian, and, with it, porphyry and his men. All of them were subjected to horrible tortures and then beheaded. The Empress is known as the Martyr of August, although it is not a name but simply the title of the wife of Augustus. However, this fact is another indication of the Emperor Maximian, Maxentius since it was August, and the wife of Maximian eutropius had survived her husband.

The wicked Emperor has made another attempt to seduce Catherine, this time with affection. In exchange for the renunciation of Christ, he promised to make her his concubine or even lawful wife. Maximin really famous by extreme debauchery, and Catherine remained perfect even after all the torture. The Martyr indignantly rejected his claims, and the enraged Emperor ordered to truncate her head with a sword.

Prayerfully put Catherine’s head on the chopping block, and from the wound instead of blood milk flowed. According to legend, the Martyr was carried by angels to the top of the highest mountain of Sinai.

Honoring

Three centuries later the monks of the Transfiguration monastery, built by Emperor Justinian, in obedience to the vision, climbed the mountain and found it incorrupt remains of St. Catherine – the head and the left hand on the ID ring, which was given to her by Jesus Christ, and transferred the relics to the monastery. Currently, the Saint’s relics are stored in a marble reliquary in the altar of the katholikon – the main Church of the monastery of St. Catherine (so was called the monastery of Sinai after the transfer there of the remains), on the right side of the throne. Another part of the relics (a finger) is in the reliquary icon of the great Martyr Catherine in the left aisle of the Church and is always open to the faithful for veneration.

See also – God grant me patience… but Soon!

The first surviving image of Catherine belong to VIII-IX centuries. In Orthodox icons of the Martyr is traditionally portrayed in Royal robes, with crown on her head and a cross in his right hand. Famous depictions of the Saint, leaning on the wheel with a palm branch in his hand. The iconography of “the betrothal of St. Catherine” was formed in the XVIII century under the influence of Western models.

First memory of St. Catherine is celebrated in the “Typicon of the great Church” IX-XI centuries It hymnography dates back to the IX century. It was then that the monk Theophanes of Nicaea and the monk named Babel created in honor of Catherine some great hymns which are still sung in the day of her repose. Also the monk Theophanes wrote in honor of the Martyr Canon, craigrossie which reads: “the ever-memorable Catherine pessimi sing…”

Tatiana Ivashkova

Life. Help

The Holy GreatMartyress Catherine was the daughter of the ruler of Alexandria, Egypt Konsta during the reign of the Emperor Maximian (305 — 313). Living in the capital — the center of Hellenic scholarship, Catherine, possessed of rare beauty and intelligence, received an excellent education, having studied the works of the best ancient philosophers and scientists. Young men from the most worthy families of the Empire sought the hand of the beautiful Catherine, but none of them was chosen. She announced to the parents that they agree to marry only for the one who will surpass her in nobility, wealth, beauty and wisdom.

Catherine’s mother, a secret Christian, sent her for advice to her own spiritual father-a saintly elder pursuing prayerful deeds in solitude in a cave near the city. After listening to Catherine, the elder said that he knows the Young man Who surpasses her in everything. The image of the Heavenly Bridegroom produced in the soul of the Holy maiden an ardent desire to see Him. The truth to which her soul yearned, revealed it to her. In parting, the elder handed Catherine an icon of the mother of God with infant Jesus in her arms and told to pray with faith to the Queen of Heaven — Mother of the Heavenly Bridegroom for the gift of vision for Her Son.

Catherine prayed all night and was able to see the virgin, Who sent Her Divine Son to look upon the kneeling of Katherine before Them. But the Baby hid His face from her, saying that He can’t look at her because she is ugly, low-born, poor and insane, like every person, not bathed in the waters of Holy Baptism and not sealed with the seal of the Holy spirit. In deep sorrow Catherine returned again to the elder. He lovingly received her, instructed in the faith of Christ, commanded to preserve her purity and integrity and to pray unceasingly; he then performed over her the sacrament of Holy Baptism. And again Saint Catherine had a vision of the blessed virgin Mary with the Baby. Now the Lord looked tenderly at her and gave her a ring, hoops it. When the vision ended and the Holy awakened from sleep, her hand shone the ring — a wondrous gift of the Heavenly Bridegroom.

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At this time in Alexandria for a pagan feast arrived the Emperor Maximin. They offered human victims to death in the fire doomed the Confessors of Christ, those not recanting from Him under torture. The Saint’s love for the Christian martyrs and heart’s desire to lighten their fate impelled Catherine to go to the pagan head-priest and ruler of the Empire, the Emperor-persecutor Maximin.

Introducing herself, the Saint confessed his faith in the one True God and with wisdom denounced the errors of the pagans. Beauty girl captivated the Emperor. To convince her and show the triumph of pagan wisdom, the Emperor ordered to convene the 50 most learned men of the Empire, but the Saint got the better of the wise men, so they believed in Christ.

Maximinus, no longer hoping to convince the Saint, tried to entice her with the promise of riches and fame. Having received an angry refusal, the Emperor gave orders to subject the Saint to terrible tortures and then throw her in prison.

The next day the Martyr was again brought to the judgment seat, where, under the threat of being broken on the wheel, asked her to renounce the Christian faith and offer sacrifice to the gods. Saint steadfastly confessed Christ and she herself approached the wheels; but an angel smashed the instruments of execution, which shattered into pieces, killing many pagans. Saint Catherine firmly confessed her fidelity to the Heavenly Bridegroom Christ, and with a prayer to Him she herself put her head on the block under the sword of the executioner. The Saint’s relics were taken by Angels to mount Sinai. In the VI century by revelation was found venerable head and left hand of the Holy Martyr with honors and transferred to the newly created temple Sinai monastery.

The history of the veneration

Three centuries after the death of the Holy Martyr monks of the Transfiguration monastery, built by Emperor Justinian, in obedience to the vision, climbed the mountain and found it incorrupt remains of St. Catherine – the head and the left hand on the ID ring, which was given to her by Jesus Christ, and transferred the relics to the monastery. Currently, the Saint’s relics are stored in a marble reliquary in the altar of the katholikon – the main Church of the monastery of St. Catherine (so was called the monastery of Sinai after the transfer there of the remains), on the right side of the throne. Another part of the relics (a finger) is in the reliquary icon of the great Martyr Catherine in the left aisle of the Church and is always open to the faithful for veneration.

First memory of St. Catherine is celebrated in the “Typicon of the great Church” IX-XI centuries It hymnography dates back to the IX century. It was then that the monk Theophanes of Nicaea and the monk named Babel created in honor of Catherine some great hymns which are still sung in the day of her repose. Also the monk Theophanes wrote in honor of the Martyr Canon, craigrossie which reads: “the ever-memorable Catherine pessimi sing…”

Icons and paintings

The first surviving image of Catherine belong to VIII-IX centuries. In Orthodox icons of the Martyr is traditionally portrayed in Royal robes, with crown on her head and a cross in his right hand. Famous depictions of the Saint, leaning on the wheel with a palm branch in his hand. The iconography of “the betrothal of St. Catherine” was formed in the XVIII century under the influence of Western models.

The Holy GreatMartyress Catherine. The icon of Sinai monastery.






Prayers

Troparion to St. Catherine

Dobrodeteli thou the rays of the sun enlightened, thou nevernye sages, and radiant as the moon walking in the night of unbelief TMU othala of art, and the Queen assured thou, along the same and denounced the torturer art, Bogotana newest blessed Catherine; a desire wastela thou the heavenly Palace to the beautiful Bridegroom-Christ, and from Him the king’s crown winchelsea thou: the Same with the angels your coming wedding ceremony., HN MOLISA, doers of righteous memory your.

Kontakion to St. Catherine

The face of the honest Divine, mechanically lift up now pochitau all-wise Catherine: and this Bo in trisnadi off from Christ, and the dragon, wher, rhetoricians minds are tamed.

Prayer to Saint Catherine

Article

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