On November 25, we celebrate the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, one of the many martyrs of the Church. Born to the pagan king and queen of Alexandria in 282 AD, Catherine, beautiful and intelligent, refused to marry unless a man could surpass her in looks and intelligence, and thus she remained a virgin her whole life. At age fourteen, she received a vision of Mary in which the Blessed Virgin gave her to Christ in a mystical marriage. She then became an ardent Christian. Catherine converted hundreds of people to Christianity, including the best pagan philosophers, whom she convinced after winning a debate on the immorality of persecuting Christians. The Roman Emperor Maxentius, who made Catherine and the philosophers debate, was so angered by his defeat he had her imprisoned and scourged. He even offered to end her suffering if she would just marry him, but Catherine refused, saying that Jesus was her spouse. Maxentius then decided that she would be killed by torture on the breaking wheel. However, at first touch the wheel miraculously broke, and Catherine was therefore beheaded.
Even at such a young age, Catherine realized the importance of Christ. She believed even when others didn’t and believed completely and fully up until her death. We are all called to spread the faith, yet few of us actually do. People are scared to talk about faith for they feel others will judge and ridicule them. This cowardice, however, was nonexistent in Catherine. She worked to convert hundreds of people to Christianity in her teenage years and into her adult life. God was her number one priority, as He should be for everyone. Catherine was just a young girl who saw the real meaning of life. She saw all people as children of Christ, even those who chose not to believe. St. Catherine shows us that our faith is our life. We are to be the Disciples of Christ and to bring his message and love to all corners of the Earth, no matter the cost or consequences, for in Heaven we will be rewarded with God’s grace and salvation.