Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy St. Catherine's!

Today is the feast of Queen Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Most Wise Virgin and Great Martyr, patron saint of philosophers (and also orators, theologians, wheelwrights, young maidens, and female students). Saint Catherine of the Wheel was one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages; a common practice was to deliver a Saint Catherine's day eulogy on the Philosopher, Aristotle, and she was a favorite in iconography. She was also, as patron saint of maidens, a favorite saint of the Maid of Orleans, also known as Joan of Arc. Probably the most famous painting done of her is Titian's Saint Catherine of Alexandria at Prayer, but she is a common figure in other notable paintings (see also here). God grant us all wisdom and insight in our day, that we may all stand like Saint Catherine for the truth that does not die; and let the world bring what wheels it may to break the truth, in the end the truth shall remain inviolate and the wheels themselves shall break.

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