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«« Lactus, Saint Catherine of Alexandria

ususlaclactusweblarge

54 x 42, oil on canvas, 2009        $1,800.00

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine is a Christian saint and martyr who is claimed to have been a noted scholar in the early 4th century. 1,100 years later, Joan of Arc said that Catherine appeared to her many times.  The Orthodox Church venerates her as a “great martyr”, and in the Catholic Church she is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

Catherine was born in Alexandria and raised a pagan, but converted to Christianity in her late teens. It is said that she visited her contemporary, the Roman Emperor Maximinus, and attempted to convince him of the moral error in persecuting Christians. She succeeded in converting his wife, the Empress, and many pagan philosophers whom the Emperor sent to dispute with her, all of whom were subsequently martyred.  Upon the failure of the Emperor to win Catherine over, he ordered her to be put in prison; and when the people who visited her converted, she was condemned to death on the breaking wheel, an instrument of torture. According to legend, the wheel itself broke when she touched it, so she was beheaded at which point milk, not blood, poured from the wound.