Saint Catherine of Alexandria, aka "Saint-Catherine-of-the-Wheel," was a Christian virgin saint. She was daughter of Constus, the governor of Alexandrian Egypt during the reign of the pagan emperor Maxentius, by whom she was martyred in the early 4th century. A princess and a noted scholar, Catherine converted hundreds of people to Christianity, including the emperor's wife. Upon the failure of Maxentius to make Catherine yield by way of torture, he proposed marriage. Saint Catherine refused, declaring that her spouse was Jesus Christ. The furious emperor condemned Catherine to death on a spiked breaking wheel, but, at her touch, it shattered. Maxentius finally had her beheaded. St. Joan of Arc identified Catherine as one of the Saints who appeared to her and counceled her.
IMAGE: from Paul Koudounaris 'Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures & Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs' which pictures decayed skeletons of early Christian martyrs and saints housed in the labyrinthine tombs beneath the streets of Rome