but those who seek the Lord
Saint – Katherine – bride of Christ and the Great Martyr of Alexandria is a most beloved Saint in the Orthodox Church. She is a shining beautiful example of true beauty, wisdom and wealth – but not in the sense of the world’s standards.
For in her life she was a woman of extraordinary wealth, and granted the very finest education of her time – having studied philosophy, rhetoric, medicine, languages, astronomy and music. Katherine was also known to be physically beautiful.
Many men wanted her to marry her but Katherine did not desire this – and her reply to her family was that she would only marry one more beautiful, greater in knowledge and wealth than she. In this way she could decline every suitor because all lacked these attributes in some way.
Despite her earthly wealth, education, fine clothes and beauty Katherine had a great emptiness deep within her. In her earthly life she had everything she could desire, yet she found herself starving within her heart and soul.
And that emptiness that Katherine experienced is a persuasive illustration of how the wealthy can go hungry but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. (Psalm 34:10)
It was Katherine’s mother – through a Holy Elder – who introduced Katherine to the to the Lord and the Orthodox Christian Faith. After spending time with the elder she returned home and spent the day in her apartment in prayer – that night she dreamt of Christ but He would not look upon her. The dream grieved her and she returned to the Elder to share the dream with him. This led to her Baptism. Again, she spent the day in prayer. Again she had a dream of Christ and the Theotokos with Christ but this time He did gaze lovingly upon her, and told her that now she had true beauty, wealth and knowledge and He gave her a ring as a sign of His betrothal to her soul.
Upon waking she found that this ring was still upon her hand.
Saint Katherine converted many – in fact even the wisest most learned scholars of the time who were sent to convince her that Christianity was a false teaching were silenced and converted as she channeled all of their earthly knowledge and wisdom through the love, true enlightenment and true wisdom of Christ.
All 150 of those men were martyred that same day – so true and profound was their conversion.
Katherine was beheaded and from her milk poured forth. Angels bore her body to Mount Sinai where she resides at Saint Katherine’s monastery
We learn so much from Saint Katherine but poignant is that the emptiness she felt within her is an emptiness that can only be filled with God – no person or amount of wealth can fit that space because it is a place reserved only for our First Love.
True treasure is found through a relationship with Christ in the Church and there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).
Saint Katherine is commemorated on November 25th.
For further reading on Saint Katherine, this is an excellent resource, for adults and children!