Is faith based on evidence, or is it trusting in something you cannot see? Can it be both?
Today marks the feast day of St Catherine of Alexandria, who is regarded by Catholic tradition as the patron saint of apologists. Legend says that Catherine was born in Alexandria, Egypt, a sophisticated hub of culture and learning. Her noble birth granted her an excellent education and she was a gifted scholar. A vision at a young age brought her to Christianity, so when the Emperor Maxentius began persecuting Christians, the teenage scholar denounced his actions.
Instead of having her executed, Maxentius ordered 50 orators and philosophers to debate Catherine. The story says however that Catherine, moved by the power of the Holy Spirit, spoke with eloquence in defence of the faith. So convincing were her words that many of the pagans were themselves converted in response. Catherine could be neither defeated in argument, nor forced to give up her beliefs. Legend even states that Maxentius’s own wife was converted, before Catherine was eventually put to death.
We don’t know exactly how much of this story is true, or if Catherine really existed, but she remains a prominent and important saint in Church tradition. St Catherine’s story teaches us about the power of an apologia (a defence or explanation) for the faith, using reason and rhetoric to point to the truth of Christianity. Complete article, here