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Novena - Oremus
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Happy Feast day of St. Catherine of Alexandria!

Catherine of Alexandria, or Katherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar who became a Christian around the age of 14, converted hundreds of people to Christianity and was martyred around the age of 18. More than 1,100 years after Catherine's martyrdom, Joan of Arc identified her as one of the saints who appeared to and counselled her.
The Eastern Orthodox Church venerates her as a Great Martyr and celebrates her feast day on 24 or 25 November, depending on the regional tradition. In Catholicism, Catherine is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and she is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on 25 November. Her feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, but restored in 2002 as an optional memorial.
Some modern scholars consider that the legend of Catherine was probably based on the life and murder of the virgin Saint Dorothea of Alexandria and the Greek philosopher Hypatia, with reversed role of a Christian and Neo-Platonist in the case of the latter.
According to the traditional narrative, Catherine was the daughter of Constus, the governor of Alexandria during the reign of the emperor Maximian (286–305). From a young age she devoted herself to study. A vision of the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus persuaded her to become a Christian. When the persecutions began under Maxentius, she went to the emperor and rebuked him for his cruelty. The emperor summoned 50 of the best pagan philosophers and orators to dispute with her, hoping that they would refute her pro-Christian arguments, but Catherine won the debate. Several of her adversaries, conquered by her eloquence, declared themselves Christians and were at once put to death.
The emperor gave orders to subject the saint to terrible tortures and then throw her in prison. During the confinement, angels tended her wounds with salve and she was fed daily by a dove from Heaven and Christ also visited her, encouraging her to fight bravely, and promised her the crown of everlasting glory.
During her imprisonment more than 200 people came to see her, including Maxentius' wife, Valeria Maximilla; all converted to Christianity and were subsequently martyred. Twelve days later, when the dungeon was opened, a bright light and fragrant perfume filled it and Catherine came forth even more radiant and beautiful.
Upon the failure of Maxentius to make Catherine yield by way of torture, he tried to win the beautiful and wise princess over by proposing marriage. Catherine refused, declaring that her spouse was Jesus Christ, to whom she had consecrated her virginity.
The furious emperor condemned Catherine to death on a spiked breaking wheel, but, at her touch, it shattered. Maxentius ordered her to be beheaded. Catherine herself ordered the execution to commence. A milk-like substance rather than blood flowed from her neck.
In the 6th century, the Eastern Emperor Justinian had established what is now Saint Catherine's Monastery in Egypt (which is in fact dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ). Countless people make the pilgrimage to the Monastery to receive miracle healing from Catherine.
Her principal symbol is the spiked wheel, which has become known as the Catherine wheel, and her feast day is celebrated on 25 November by most Christian churches. However the Russian, Polish, Serbian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches celebrate it on 24 November. The exact origin of this tradition is not known. In 11th-century Kievan Rus, the feast day was celebrated on 25 November. Dimitry of Rostov in his Kniga zhyttia sviatykh (Book of the Lives of the Saints), T.1 (1689) places the date of celebration on 24 November. A story that Empress Catherine the Great did not wish to share her patronal feast with the Leavetaking of the feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos and hence changed the date is not supported by historical evidence. One of the first Roman Catholic churches to be built in Russia, the Catholic Church of St. Catherine, was named after Catherine of Alexandria because she was Catherine the Great's patron. A footnote to the entry for 25 November in The Synaxarion compiled by Hieromonk Makarios of Simonos Petra states: "Until the 16th century, the memory of St Catherine was observed on 24 Nov. According to a note by Bartholomew of Koutloumousiou inserted in the Menaion, the Fathers of Sinai transferred the date to 25 Nov. in order that the feast might be kept with greater solemnity."
The 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia describes her historical importance:
Ranked with St Margaret and St Barbara as one of the fourteen most helpful saints in heaven, she was unceasingly praised by preachers and sung by poets. It is believed that Jacques-Benigne Bossuet dedicated to her one of his most beautiful panegyrics and that Adam of St. Victor wrote a magnificent poem in her honour: Vox Sonora nostri chori.
In many places her feast was celebrated with the utmost solemnity, servile work being suppressed and the devotions attended by great numbers of people. In several dioceses of France it was observed as a Holy Day of Obligation up to the beginning of the 17th century, the splendour of its ceremonial eclipsing that of the feasts of some of the apostles. Many chapels were placed under her patronage, and nearly all churches had a statue of her, representing her according to medieval iconography with a wheel, her instrument of torture.
Seidenspinner
From the Dominican breviary (1962) for today's feast:
"Catherine, a noble maiden of Alexandria, joined the study of the liberal arts to the zeal of faith. When she saw that Maximinus was condemning many Christians to punishment, she went to see him and told him with insistence that faith in Christ is necessary for salvation. The tyrant admired her good sense, and bade her stay with him. Calling …More
From the Dominican breviary (1962) for today's feast:
"Catherine, a noble maiden of Alexandria, joined the study of the liberal arts to the zeal of faith. When she saw that Maximinus was condemning many Christians to punishment, she went to see him and told him with insistence that faith in Christ is necessary for salvation. The tyrant admired her good sense, and bade her stay with him. Calling together some learned men from various places, he tried to convince her to go over to the worship of idols.
"But it was the opposite that happened. Several of these men were persuaded by Catherine's convincing arguments, and they embraced the faith of Christ, not hesitating even to die for it.
"Therefore, Maximinus tried to change Catherine's mind, first by flattery and then by torture. But when he got nowhere, he commanded her to be hit with an axe."
Rand Miller
She is a great model of courage. FYI-I usually ignore what the modern "scholars" say.