Saint Catherine of Alexandria (born c282), is a martyr who was a noted scholar.
The daughter of a pagan governor of Alexandria, she converted to Christianity in her teens, she visited the Roman Emperor Maxentius, and attempted to convince him to stop persecuting Christians. She succeeded in converting his wife and many pagan philosophers whom the Emperor sent to dispute with her, all of whom were subsequently martyred. The Emperor ordered her to be imprisoned; when the people who visited her were also converted, she was condemned to death on the breaking wheel (subsequently known as the Katherine wheel in her honour), an instrument of torture. According to legend, the wheel itself broke when she touched it, so she was beheaded.
She is one of the fourteen holy helper saints, most often invoked for protection against a sudden and unprovided-for death. She is also patroness of philosphers and preachers.