Saint Katherine the Great Martyr

Feast Day: November 25th


The Life of Saint Katherine: And again Saint Katherine had a vision of the Most Holy Mother of God with her Child. Now the Lord looked tenderly at her and gave her a ring…

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Prayers

Akathist Hymn

Apolytikion: Let us praise the most auspicious Bride of Christ, the Divine Katherine, protectress of Sinai, our aid and our help. For, she brilliantly silenced the eloquence of the impious by the sword of the Spirit, and now, Crowned as a Martyr, she asks great Mercy for all.

Kontakion: O friends of Martyrs, now Divinely raise up a renewed chorus, praising the All-Wise Katherine. For, she proclaimed Christ in the arena, trampled on the serpent, and spat upon the knowledge of the orators.

Kontakion: We sing hymns of praise to the chosen and crowned Virgin and Martyr, the Bride of Christ Catherine as the most glorious victor over the tormentor and most wise teacher of philosophers: O Holy Martyr Catherine, who approaches the Lord with boldness, incline graciously towards the needful petitions of those who call unto you: Rejoice, O Catherine, Most Wise Bride of Christ.

Kathisma: The Virgin and chaste Catherine the Wise, who through the power of Christ, truly was strengthened, and entered the stadium with rejoicing. And she deposed the tyrant through her steadfastness, along with the whole multitude of the enemy foes, and she ceaselessly chanted with joy and with a great voice: O my Christ, You are my Glory, my Saviour and my Deliverer; do You receive my Spirit.

Oikos: As pure as the Angels, O Holy Virgin Catherine, you have become like the Angels of the Divine illumination, singing with them the Thrice Holy hymn, O hear us who sing to you on this Earth: Rejoice, O Catherine, Most Wise Bride of Christ.

Hymn of Praise, by Saint Nikolai Velimirovich: The Wise Catherine, an Earthly Princess, became a Martyr for Christ the Saviour. Foolish Maxentius offered her life: If she would consent to become his wife! The Holy Catherine, pure as gold, replied to the emperor thus: ‘My betrothed is the Risen Christ, and I desire not the love of a corrupt man. You seek my body: the rotten seeks corruption, even as the incorrupt Spirit seeks immortality. The physical covering must wither away, the true man takes care for his immortal Soul. Do what you wish, and torture me- Burn me in the fire, turn me on a wheel; I cannot renounce my own Soul, nor worship any but Christ as God. Remember, O Emperor, soon you will die, and worms will erupt from your corpse- worms will glorify you, worms will eat you, a curse will accompany you, and a curse will meet you: For you dare wage war against Christ, Who is mightier than death. You stand under the Rock, and He will crush you.’ Holy Catherine, Christ’s Virgin, you despised the throne for Eternal Truth’s sake; and thus now reign in the Kingdom without end, and sing with the Angels, in the midst of sweet Paradise.


Saint Katherine was a beautiful young woman, she received a great education and was very wise in worldly knowledge. Having reached the age of marriage, Saint Katherine requested from her parents that she would only marry someone who surpassed her in beauty, knowledge, wealth and reputation. That is when she came face to face with Christ. In her Icons are often depicted books and geographical tools which symbolise her great knowledge and wisdom which originated from things of the world and reached the heights of the greatest wisdom of Christianity. Saint Katherine is also seen holding a Cross for her Martyrdom, the Wheel on which she was tortured, and a palm branch symbolising her victory over everything which attempted to pull her away from her most beloved Bridegroom Christ.

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The Ring of Saint Katherine: The Theotokos then took the right hand of the maiden and said:  “My Child, give her a ring as a token of Thy betrothal to her, so as to deem her worthy of Thy Kingdom.”  The Master Christ then gave her a beautiful ring, saying:  “Behold, this day I take thee as Mine unsullied bride forever.  Diligently preserve this troth inviolate, taking no man to thyself!”  And with these words the vision came to an end.  Catherine arose and, verily, a ring was on her right finger!  At that moment, her heart was enraptured with the divine love of our Lord Christ…

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Saint Katherine approached the Emperor and spoke of the false nature of paganism. She was then faced with 50 philosophers to persuade her, but the bride of Christ brought them all to believe in Christ through her words. She signed them with the Sign of the Most Precious Cross and they were Martyred for their Christian faith.

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Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ visited Saint Katherine in prison. He told her she was going to be tortured and He encouraged her to stay strong in her faith through this and that He would be with her at every moment.

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Saint Katherine remained unshaken in her faith and the Emperor grew tired of trying to convice her to abandon Christianity through flatteries. So he arranged for the Martyr to be tortured on a wheel, which Saint Katherine courageously approached. However, before long, an Angel smashed the wheel. Saint Katherine was then beheaded.

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The Holy Body of Saint Katherine was carried by Angels to the peak of Mount Sinai, where a Holy Monastery has been established which now house her Holy Relics.

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Icons

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An Icon of the two Great Virgin Martyrs and Brides of Christ – Saint Katherine and Saint Barbara

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An Icon of the two Great Martyrs Saint Katherine and Saint Panteleimon