Ecaterina din Alexandria

De la OrthodoxWiki
Versiunea din 12 noiembrie 2007 07:30, autor: Cristianm (Discuție | contribuții) (Viaţa)
Salt la: navigare, căutare
Acest articol (sau părți din el) este propus spre traducere din limba engleză!

Dacă doriți să vă asumați acestă traducere (parțial sau integral), anunțați acest lucru pe pagina de discuții a articolului.
De asemenea, dacă nu ați făcut-o deja, citiți pagina de ajutor Traduceri din limba engleză.

St. Catherine of Alexandria

The holy and glorious Great-martyr Catherine of Alexandria was the daughter of the governor of Alexandrian Egypt, Constas, during the reign of the emperor Maximinus (305-313), and she suffered for her Lord in the year 305. Her feast day in the Church is either November 24 (Slavic) or November 25 (Greek).


Vieţuind în capitală—centrul cunoaşterii elenistice—şi posesoare a unei frumuseţi şi inteligenţe neobişnuite, Ecaterina a primit o educaţie deosebit de aleasă, studiind lucrările celor mai mari filozofi şi dascăli ai antichităţii. Tineri din cele mai bogate familii ale imperiului cereau mâna frumoasei Ecaterina, dar nici unul nu a fost ales. Le-a spus părinţilor că nu se va căsătorii decât cu cineva care o va depăşi în celebritate, bogăţie, frumuseţe şi înţelepciune.

Mama Ecaterinei, creştină în ascuns, a trimis-o la propriul ei duhovnic – un Sfânt Părinte care se îndeletnicea cu rugăciunea în singurătate într-o peşteră, nu prea departe de oraş. După ce a ascultat-o pe Ecaterina, părintele i-a spus că el cunoaşte un tânăr care o depăşeşte în toate, adică „Frumuseţe lui este mai strălucitoare decât strălucirea soarelui, toată creaţia se supune înţelepciunii lui, bogăţiile lui sunt răspândite în întreaga lume, - ceea ce nu diminuează ci, dimpotrivă, sporeşte nespusa sa nobleţe”. Imaginea cerescului Mire produse în mintea tinerei fecioare o dorinţă arzătoare de a-l vedea. Adevărul, după care sufletul ei tânjea, i se va revela. La despărţire, i-a înmânat Ecaterinei o icoană cu Maica Domnului cu Pruncul Iisus în braţe şi a sfătuit-o să se roage cu credinţă către Regina Raiului - Maica Cerescului Mire – pentru a o învrednici cu vederea Fiului Său.

Catherine prayed all night and was given to see the Most Holy Virgin, who sent her divine Son to look upon the kneeling of Catherine before Them. But the Child turned his face away from her saying, that he was not able to look at her because she was ugly, of shabby lineage, beggarly and mindless like every person—not washed with the waters of holy Baptism and not sealed with the seal of the Holy Spirit. Catherine returned again to the elder deeply saddened. He lovingly received her, instructed her in the faith of Christ, admonished her to preserve her purity and integrity and to pray unceasingly; he then performed over her the mystery/sacrament of holy baptism. And again Saint Catherine had a vision of the Mother of God with her Child. Now the Lord looked tenderly at her and gave her a ring—a wondrous gift of the heavenly Bridegroom.

At this time the emperor Maximinus was himself in Alexandria for a pagan feast day. Because of this, the feast was especially splendid and crowded. The cries of the sacrificial animals, the smoke and the smell of the sacrifices, the endless blazing of fires, and the bustling crowds at the arenas filled Alexandria. Human victims also were brought—because they consigned to death in the fire the confessors in Christ, those not recanting from him under torture. The saint's love for the Christian martyrs and her fervent desire to lighten their fate impelled Catherine to go to the pagan head-priest and ruler of the empire, the emperor-persecutor Maximinus.

Introducing herself, the saint confessed her faith in the one true God and with wisdom denounced the errors of the pagans. The beauty of the maiden captivated the emperor. In order to convince her and show the superiority of pagan wisdom, the emperor gave orders to gather 50 of the most learned men (rhetoricians) of the empire, but the saint got the better of the wise men, such that they themselves came to believe in Christ. Saint Catherine shielded the martyrs with the sign of the cross, and they bravely accepted death for Christ and were burnt by order of the emperor.

St. Catherine of Alexandria

Maximinus, no longer hoping to convince the saint, tried to entice her with the promise of riches and fame. Having received an angry refusal, the emperor gave orders to subject the saint to terrible tortures and then throw her in prison. The Empress Augusta, who had heard much about the saint, wanted to see her. Having prevailed upon the military-commander Porphyry to accompany her with a detachment of soldiers, Augusta went to the prison. The empress was impressed by the strong spirit of St. Catherine, whose face glowed with Divine grace. The holy martyr explained the Christian teaching to the newly-arrived, and they in believing were converted to Christ.

On the following day they again brought the martyr to the judgement court where, under the threat of being broken on the wheel, they urged that she recant from the Christian faith and offer sacrifice to the gods. The saint steadfastly confessed Christ and she herself approached the wheels; but an angel smashed the instruments of execution, which broke up into pieces with many pagans passing nearby. Having beheld this wonder, the empress Augusta and the imperial courtier Porphyry with 200 soldiers confessed their faith in Christ in front of everyone, and they were beheaded. Maximinus again tried to entice the holy martyr, proposing marriage to her, and again he received a refusal. St. Catherine firmly confessed her fidelity to the heavenly Bridegroom, Christ, and with a prayer to him she herself put her head on the block under the sword of the executioner. The relics of St. Catherine were taken by the angels to Mount Sinai. In the 9th or 10th century, through a revelation, the venerable head and left hand of the holy martyress were found and transferred with honour to the church of Sinai monastery, built by the holy emperor Justinian the Great in the 6th century.


According to ancient usage, St. Catherine (along with St. Mercurius the Great-martyr) was celebrated on November 24, whereas the holy Hieromartyrs Clement of Rome and Peter of Alexandria were celebrated on the 25th. The dates of the feasts of these saints were interchanged at the requests of the Church and Monastery of Sinai, so that the festival of Catherine, their patron, might be celebrated more festively together with the leavetaking of the Presentation of the Theotokos. The Slavic churches, however, continue to commemorate these saints on their original dates.1


Greek usage (Tone 5)

Let us praise the all-lauded and noble bride of Christ,
the godly Catherine, the guardian of Sinai and its defense,
who is also our support and succour and our help;
for with the Holy Spirit's sword
she hath silenced brilliantly the clever among the godless;
and being crowned as a martyr, she now doth ask great mercy for us all.

Slavic usage (Tone 4)

Thy lamb Catherine, O Jesus,
Calls out to thee in a loud voice:
I love thee, O my bridegroom,
And in seeking thee, I endure suffering.
In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in thee,
And died so that I might live with thee.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
For I have offered myself in love.
By her prayers save our souls, since thou art merciful.


Format:Note: The Great Horologion. Holy Transfiguration Monastery, p. 322


External links