Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Catherine of Alexandria (d. 305)

Saint Catherine of Alexandria (d. 305)

Patron saint of philosophers, preachers, and students

Feast day: November 25

Saint Catherine is thought to have been born in Alexandria to a noble family. She converted to Christianity after she had a life-altering vision.

Catherine criticized Emperor Maxentius for his persecution of Christians. In an attempt to sway Catherine away from her newfound faith, Maxentius offered her an advantageous marriage if she denounced her Christianity. Catherine refused and was thrown into prison. While incarcerated, Catherine converted the wife of Maxentius and 200 of his soldiers to Christianity. In his anger, Maxentius had them all put to death. Catherine also suffered the same fate. She was condemned to be tortured on a spiked wheel. When the wheel miraculously broke, she was beheaded instead. 

(Image Carlo Crivelli, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)