Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I am not a fan of fireworks regardless of the celebration in question. I have very sensitive nerves and I have a dog so quite frankly fireworks are a nuisance when used domestically and often unspectacular. As with most things in life its best left to the professionals and official displays. That’s enough humbugging.
I want to focus this blog on the name sake of a firework rather than the events of the 5th November. However there is something I want to say to the people who claim that the last honest man to walk into parliament was Guy Fawkes. Look at the history and hopefully you will realise that what you think is thatthe last honest man to set foot in Westminster was an extremist Catholic terrorist set on mass murder and regicide and would have been the 17th century equivalent to 9/11. So just think on.
Enough of the politics. Now on to the woman who’s story inspired this post. St Catherine’s legend starts in North Africa, Egypt, Alexandria. She was a pagan princess and the daughter of the governor of Alexandria. Her chroniclers have said that she was well educated intelligent and cultured. It is said that she informed her parents, king Costus and her mother Queen Sabinella that she would only take a husband who was more intelligent, wealthy beautify and more dignified than herself.
During her impressionable teenage years she converted to Christianity and declared that Jesus was more intelligent, beautiful and dignified than herself and dedicated her chastity to him. This conversion happened after the Virgin Mary appeared to her in a vision.
Her conversion to Christianity was so strong she decided to confront the Roman emperor Maxentius about his persecution of Christians. A debate ensued and Maxentius was said to have presented pagan philosophers and orators to help him in the debate however Catherine’s intelligence and education was to help win her the debate. Her argument was so good that even some of Maxentius supporters were to convert and become martyred.
Catherine was then tortured and imprisoned and while in capacity some 200 people came to see her and were converted to early Christianity including Maxentius’ wife. They all converted to Christ and all were martyred. Having killed his wife the emperor then wanted to try and convert the beautiful Catherine through marriage. Unsurprisingly she turned down his proposal declaring she was Christ’s bride. (Well if you try to control a woman and belittle her feelings and beliefs guess what Max me old mate of course she will turn you down!)
Maxentius’ ego in tatters he ordered she be executed by breaking wheel. When they tried to tie her to it the vile instrument of death the wheel broke. Eventually she was instead executed by beheading and thus became a martyr.
It is said that she rose to heaven on the site of Mount Sinai, The orthodox monastery on the mount is named after St Catherine as well as being the home to the burning bush and other relics. She is the patron saint of academics and students and thousands come to kiss her relics in the hope of her help with their studies.
Catherine was a strong intelligent woman who stood up for her beliefs. So on the 5th of November Remember, remember not the religious terrorist who wanted mass murder and to destroy a fledgling democracy but the beautiful, strong, intelligent woman who lost her life for her faith and virtue.