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Saint Catalina of Alexandria and Jaén's Conquest


This is the legendary history of Jaén’s co-patroness, Saint Catalina of Alexandria. It explains the origins of the religious devotion to this Saint. According to some authors, it is possible that Saint Catalina of Alexandria’s devotion was older than the Christian Conquer in 1246. Therefore, in early centuries she was a single patroness and after 15th century she became co-patroness together with Capilla’s Virgin. 
Jaén was besieged by the troops of Fernando III “The Saint”, in order to take the city that was under Castilian domain. The troops were trying to reduce the Muslims to Granada, which was the last of their stronghold when something magical happened.
One night, when Fernando was sleeping, the young Saint Catalina appeared in his dreams and gave him huge keys. When he woke up, he understood that the keys were Jaén’s city keys and that the Saint was giving her support to the troops that were about to retreat and lose the city. 
Shortly after that night, Alhamar King surrendered and declared himself a Castilian vassal, and moved to Granada, which was under Muslim domain for two more centuries. Nowadays, the hills where the city is located, and the castle (where we find a chapel devoted to the Saint) are known as the Hill and Castle of Saint Catalina.

 Saint Catalina of Alexandria's sculpture