As listed in our Parish History, the original name of the parish was St. Anne, later changed to St. Catharine after the donation of the Church from Martin Maloney. You will note that we spell Catharine with an a, that is how Catharine “Kitty” Maloney’s name was spelled.
Today, our main church, school and first cemetery are all named for St. Catharine of Alexandria. Our second church is in honor of St. Margaret of Antioch, and our second cemetery is named for St. Anne
Thank you to Kiernan Hickey for putting the below information on our saints together. (2019)
St. Catherine of Alexandria
St. Catherine of Alexandria is a canonized saint in the Catholic Church. Catherine was born around 287 in Alexandria, Egypt, and at the time of her birth, Alexandria was one of the finest cities in the world. She was martyred around 305 in Alexandria. St. Catherine’s feast day is November 25. She is the patron saint of students, unmarried girls, and apologists.
Christian tradition states that St. Catherine was of noble birth, well educated, and an Avis scholar. Around the age of fourteen, Catherine experienced a moving vision of Mary and the infant Jesus, and she decided to become a Christian. When the emperor Maxentius began persecuting Christians, Catherine went to see him to condemn his brutality. Rather than order her execution, Maxentius assembled fifty orators and philosophers to discuss her. Catherine was touched by the power of the Holy Spirit and spoke persuasively in defense of her faith. Her words were so touching that many of the pagans converted to Christianity and were executed shortly after. The emperor ordered Catherine to be tortured and imprisoned because she would not compromise her beliefs. Catherine was arrested, but did not abandon her beliefs.
The emperors wife, Valeria Maximilla, was converted by Catherine. The emperor was not happy about this so he executed his own wife because of her conversion. Maxentius made one last attempt to persuade Catherine to abandon her faith by proposing to her. Catherine refused, saying that she was married to Jesus Christ and that her virginity was devoted to him. The emperor ordered Catherine to be executed on a breaking wheel. The wheel was shattered when Catherine touched it, performing a miracle. The emperor was unable to torture Catherine to death, so he ordered her to be beheaded. One account claimed that angels took her body to Mt. Sinai. The Emperor Justinian ordered a monastery established in her name in the sixth century. The monastery, which is Saint Catherine’s, rests to this day and is one of the oldest in the world.
St. Margaret of Antioch
St. Margaret of Antioch is a virgin and a martyr whose feast day is celebrated on July 20. St. Margaret is also called, “Marina.” Her fame spread in Europe during the Middle Ages. St. Margaret is the Patron Saint of childbirth, pregnant women, and dying people. Margaret is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and she spoke to St. Joan of Arc.
Margaret belonged to Pisidian Antioch which is in Asia Minor, where her father was a pagan priest. Margaret’s mother died shortly after her birth. After Margaret welcomed Christianity into her life and consecrated her virginity to God, her father left her and she was adopted by her nurse. Margaret continued to make a living as a shepherdess.
Margaret was seen by the administrator, Olybrius. Olybrius was amazed by her beauty and instantly wanted to make her his wife. Margaret would not take him as her husband, so Olybrius ordered her charges as a Christian, tormented her, and sent her to prison. While in prison, Margaret had a horrible encounter with the Devil who appeared to her as a dragon and in the end swallowed her. The Cross that Margaret had in her hand served as an annoyance to the dragon’s stomach which eventually opened and released her to safety.
The next day was followed with an attempt to kill Margaret in many ways both by water and fire. St. Margaret was then beheaded and died. After beheading Margaret, the executioner abruptly died.This was not to be seen as punishment, but as a reward where he would join Margaret in Heaven. Margaret’s body was then buried by a widow of the city.
St. Anne is the patron saint of Canada, Cabinetmakers, Housewives, and Women in Labor, and her feast day is July 26. St. Anne was the wife of Saint Joachim. Saint Anne is the Mother of Mary, the woman who gave birth to Jesus. Anne and her husband Joachim were unable to conceive a child, even though they tried really hard and really wanted a baby. One day an angel went to visit them and told them that they would have a child. Saint Anne, so ecstatic by the news, promised that she would devote this baby’s life to the service of God. Their daughter, Mary, was born.
Saint Anne’s child was remarkable, as she was born free from original sin. Part of Saint Anne’s fame comes from Mary’s birth of Immaculate Conception, and her being free of Original Sin.. When Mary was a young child, Anne would read scriptures to her. When Mary was three years old, her parents took her to the Temple and gave her to the service of the Temple. Anne and Joachim would never see Mary again. Even though Saint Anne had wanted a child so badly, she follows through with her promise to the Lord..Saint Anne and Joachim did not have the opportunity to raise Mary themselves as she needed to be raised through the faith in order to become the Mother of Jesus.
Saint Anne is considered a Saint because of her part as the Mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus, and a devout servant to the Lord. A church was built in the year 550 in honor of Saint Anne in Jerusalem. Greek and Russian churches have celebrated feasts honoring St. Joachim and St. Anne since the seventh century. In the sixteenth century, Western Churches began to celebrate the feast of St. Anne. Saint Anne is symbolized by Mary in her lap holding Jesus.