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St. Catherine of Alexandria

When I was in RCIA and preparing to come into the Church, as we got closer and closer to the Easter Vigil, I was still wrestling with which Saint would be my confirmation Saint.

The details are blurry in my memory about what led me to finally choose St. Catherine of Alexandria, but what stands out to me about her life is the power of her one-on-one conversations, even from her prison cell. The more I learned about her life, heroically trusting in God even in the midst of great suffering, her ability to convert so many people through these powerful conversations, and of course the fact that the wheel that was supposed to be the cause of her death miraculously and completely shattered… what power, what strength in devotion to God.

It amazes me to think about the details – that at such a young age of 18 St. Catherine was engaged in debate with 50 pagan philosophers, who could not succeed in getting her to renounce her faith, and not only that, they themselves converted to Christianity as a result of her wisdom in conversation. She also converted about 200 soldiers through these faithful conversations.

Even in a time when she knew that defending the faith in this way would lead to her death (and she eventually was martyred), she remained loyal and steadfast, unwavering in her beliefs.

What stood out to me in learning about this Saint was the simplicity of her faith and her way of living it out with true virtue. What the Lord was asking of her was to simply talk to the people in her life about Him (yes, even those who were responsible for her suffering). It wasn’t complicated, but of course it wasn’t easy either – it demanded everything of her, even her life. She stood firm in the One who made her and the Holy Spirit filled her with wisdom in these personal and powerful conversations so she was able to bring others to know Him too.

St. Catherine of Alexandria is a beautiful witness for each of us in her example of total surrender and complete devotion to her faith.

*details of her life from

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Betsy Donlon

Betsy Donlon is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. She is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Aquinas College. She and her husband David have 3 children and they love camping, hiking, swimming, and baking cookies.

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