The government frowned on that, so she was arrested and eventually executed.
That was over 1500 years ago.
Over the centuries, many devout stories about St. Catherine of Alexandria were told and retold and eventually snowballed out of control. During the Middle Ages, she would become one of the most popular of saints. By the modern era, however, it became very difficult to know what was historical about Catherine (and many other saints) and what was pious fantasy.
During the liturgical housecleaning of the late 1960’s, the Church decided to focus on the remembrance of saints for whom there was a certain level of historical evidence. There was also an effort to open up the calendar to free more weekdays for the simple celebration of ordinary time and of the liturgical seasons as well as to make room for the celebration of newly canonized saints. To accomplish all this, a fairly significant standard was followed.
Catherine didn’t make the cut.
During the subsequent liturgical housecleaning at the turn of the millennium, however, it was determined that, unlike most of the other saints, Catherine retained sufficient historicity and popularity to be included once more in the liturgical calendar.
St. Catherine of Alexandria is back and her memory is celebrated on this day.
(adapted from an earlier post)