The saint of philosophers and wheelwrights and one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Catharine of Alexandria was very popular in the Middle Ages. Her legend relates that in the early years of the fourth century, Catharine converted to Christianity a group of philosophers whom Emperor Maximinus had appointed to shake the maiden's own faith. The infuriated ruler had Catharine scourged and bound to wheels on which knives were fixed; but the wheels broke and the knives flew off, killing some of the onlookers. Then she was beheaded. Angels are said to have carried her body up to Mount Sinai in Arabia, as today's Prayer recalls.
Mass of a VIRGIN MARTYR, except:
O God, You gave the law to Moses on Mount Sinai, and later had the body of the blessed virgin Martyr Catharine miraculously carried to the same spot by Your holy angels. Grant that we may reach the mountain which is Christ, through the merits and intercession of this saint; who lives and rules with You . . .
O Lord, accept the gifts we bring You on the feast of Your blessed virgin Catharine, through whose intercession we hope to set free. Through our Lord . . .
O Lord, through the intercession of Your blessed virgin Martyr Catharine, may we be aided by the reception of the Blessed Sacrament and rejoice in Your everlasting protection. Through our Lord . . .