St. Catherine's Monastery Tour with Lunch
Beverages - Mineral Water/Coffee/Tea
Lunch - Buffet
Tour Participation Requirements
Growing up as a princess in 4th-century Alexandria, Catherine could have married a social equal and lived a posh lifestyle, but that was not her path. Her mother, a secret Christian, encouraged her daughter to seek help from her spiritual elder. After receiving his counsel, then seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, 14-year old Catherine converted to the faith. It was a risky move in the time of pagan Roman Empire rule.
Exceptionally intelligent, refined, and educated, Catherine rebuked ruling emperor Maxentius for his cruel pagan rituals involving animal and human sacrifices. He summoned his pagan philosophers to punish young Catherine, but her eloquence won them over and they converted. This did not please the emperor so he had them executed and threw Catherine in jail. Hundreds flocked to see her and she converted all of them, including the emperor's own wife – they were all martyred. Failing to persuade Catherine through torture, the emperor then asked her marry to him. When she said no, he sentenced her to be executed on a spiked wheel. When the apparatus shattered upon her touch, the emperor had the 18-year-old beheaded, thus inspiring the cult of Catherine. While scholars debate the legend of Saint Catherine of the Wheel, she is revered as a Christian martyr, appearing even to Joan of Arc many centuries later.
In the 6th century, Emperor Justinian established the monastery you'll visit. While there, marvel at all that has survived many wars and invasions and is that rare site that is sacred to Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
A testament to early equality
Though Justinian I gave the order to build St. Catherine's Monastery, we should perhaps credit his wife, Theodora. A woman of superior intelligence, she was an actress and unwed mother before she caught Justinian's eye, becoming first his mistress, then his wife. She exercised considerable influence over him and is remembered as one of the earliest champions of women's rights, helping passing strict laws forbidding the trafficking of young girls and changing divorce laws to give greater benefits to women. You go, girl.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.