Holy Great-Martyress Catherine


For over a millennium, St. Catherine of Alexandria has been a revered saint in both Western and Eastern Christianity. In Catholicism, she is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of mankind. The icon recounts the story of Catherine who lived in Alexandria of Egypt in the third century. Beautiful, educated, and wealthy, Catherine searched for a perfect husband until one night she dreamt that she encountered Christ. This dream brought her search to an end as she rejected the prospects of family happiness to become the protectoress of the persecuted Christians. Catherine was ultimately tortured and killed by the Roman Emperor for her faith. In Western art she is often depicted as the mystical bride of the Child Christ or as a martyress holding the instrument of her torture, the spiked wheel. This icon depicts Catherine holding a cross, a symbol of martyrdom, and a scroll with the statement of Christian faith.