The Burning Bush and a Martyr Named Kate

2 Jul

St. Catherine's MonasteryAfter visiting the “mainland” of Egypt, we spent a week in the Sinai Peninsula.  We stayed in Dahab, a sleepy little town on the Red Sea, but took an exceptional day trip to St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai.  Mount Sinai, where Moses saw the burning bush and received the Ten Commandments, provides the back drop for  St. Catherine’s.  The monastery sits alone in this forbidding desert mountain range almost two hours inland from the Red Sea.  Built in the 6th century, it is the oldest active Christian Monastery and the home of the relics of St. Catherine of Alexandria.  Catherine was an educated noblewoman in Alexandria and an early convert to christianity.  She was tortured and finally beheaded on the orders of Emperor Maxentius.  Around 800, her remains were carried by “angels” to Mt. Sinai and their new home…

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Aside from the spectacular scenery, and the purported actual burning bush, the monastery had a small museum which included copies of letters from Mohammed and Napoleon Bonaparte providing protection for the monastery and grounds which are considered holy by Christians and Muslims.

We didn’t have time to summit Mt. Sinai, but enjoyed the view and some tea with the camels.

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Click here for all of our St. Kate’s pics and here for some of Dahab.

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