She stood there dressed in white, a lonely figure, slight
The mob had gathered, some yelling in ecstasy
Sunset neared, and many a soul was in the night
She was smaller, younger than they thought she would be.
She looked to be in pain, wobbly; blood stained her gown
Ribald yells made note of that – when gazing at them–
–a sudden stillness arrested their eyes, a frown–
–crossed her lips, then she looked up and smiled, maiden-femme.
“In the name of the Savior Jesus Christ my Lord
Forgive the gathered here before you forgive me–
–my trespasses, and lead them from here to your word
So that they may know love, hope, truth, and be set free.”
The spectators said not a word after that, peace–
–descended upon them all, so when the chosen–
–executioner came, he tumbled to his knees
The sword slipping from his stained hand, in place frozen.
Till she spoke softly to him like a mother to–
–a child, “I cannot spare you this task, only you–
–can spare another the shame, do what they command
And let God be the judge of you as Caesar’s hand.”
And without a word, he got up and swung the blade
And then the sunset came, yet her name did not fade.
November 24, 2015 – Eve of Katherine Mass
On the 1710th anniversary of the execution of Saint Katherine of Alexandria
at Rome on November 25, 305 a.d. on the orders of Emperor Maxentius