On November 25, Maronites commemorate the life of Saint Catherine of Alexandria.
According to traditional writings she was the daughter of the governor of Alexandrian Egypt. As a young women she devoted her life to study. Her mother took her to a holy man who told her to pray all night before the icon of Mary and Jesus. She then had a vision of Mother Mary and the child Jesus who persuaded her to become a Christian.
She debated the best pagan philosophers and won. She converted many including Roman emperors Maximinus’s wife and 200 of his soldiers who were put to death by the emperor, including Catherine who was beheaded at the age of 18.
Saint Catherine’s monastery in Sinai is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. It is home to the oldest library with many unique books including the Syriac Sinaiticus. This was a crucial text in helping further understand the history of the New Testament.