Patron Saints of Libraries

Patron Saints of Libraries

St. Catherine of Alexandria

“Svata Katerina” by Karel Skreta

St. Catherine of Alexandria is usually considered the patron saint of libraries in Orthodox countries.

Biography

St. Catherine of Alexandria is the patron saint of librarians. Her feast day is November 25th.

St. Catherine of Alexandria lived in the 4th century. Catherine’s father Costus was a pagan governor of Alexandria. As a teenager, she converted to Christianity.

She visited the Roman Emperor Maximinus Daia and tried to convince him to stop persecuting Christians. She was unable to convince him. She did however convince the Empress. The Empress was martyred as a result.

Upon the failure of the Emperor to win Catherine over, he ordered her to be put in prison; and when the people who visited her converted, she was condemned to death on a breaking wheel, an instrument of torture. According to legend, the wheel itself broke when she touched it, so she was beheaded.

According to Christian tradition, “angels carried her body to Mount Sinai”. In the 6th century, Saint Catherine’s Monastery was built on Mount Sinai. The monastery still stands today. It holds early Christian art and illuminated manuscripts.

Bibliography

“St. Catherine of Alexandria – Saints and Angels – Catholic Online.” Catholic Online. (accessed October 16, 2011).