Great Martyr Katharine
December 7 (November 24 old calendar).
The daughter of King Constus, Saint Katherine lived with her mother in Alexandria after her father's death. Her mother was secretly a Christian and, through her spiritual father, brought Katharine to the Christian faith. In a vision, St. Katharine received a ring from the Lord Jesus Himself as a sign of her betrothal to Him. This ring remains on her finger to this day. Katharine was greatly gifted by God, exceptionally well-educated in Greek philosophy, medicine, rhetoric and logic, and added great physical beauty to this. When the wicked Emperor Maxentius offered sacrifice to idols and ordered everyone to do the same, St. Katharine came with daring before him and denounced his idolatrous errors. The Emperor, seeing that she surpassed him in wisdom and learning, summoned fifty of the wisest men, to dispute with her about faith and put her to shame, but Katharine was wiser than they, and put them to shame. The furious Emperor commanded that all fifty wise men be burned. These wise men, at St. Katharine's prayers, all confessed the name of Christ at the moment of death, and proclaimed themselves Christians. When the martyr was in prison, she brought Porphyrius the general, with two hundred of his soldiers, to the Faith, and also the Empress, Augusta-Vasilissa. They all suffered for Christ. At St. Katharine's martyrdom, an angel of God appeared to her, stopping and breaking the wheel on which she was being tortured, and after that the Lord Christ Himself appeared to her, strengthening her. After many tortures, Katharine was beheaded with the sword at the age of eighteen, on November 24th, 310. Milk flowed from her body in place of blood. Her wonderworking relics are preserved on Sinai.
Troparion, Tone 5
Let us praise Katherine, protectress of Sinai,/ Bride of Christ and our helper./ With the sword of the Spirit she silenced the wisdom of the wicked./ She is crowned as a martyr and asks mercy for us all.
Kontakion, Tone 2
You lovers of martyrs raise a chorus now/ in honor of wise Katherine./ She preached Christ in the stadium/ and spat on the knowledge of philosophers.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
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