The legend behind the University seal

St. Catherine
Statue of St. Catherine at the Eichstätt Sommerresidenz
“Concerned with promises, not adversities”

The seal of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt that shows the patron saint of the KU, St. Catherine of Alexandria, bears the words “Promissa nec aspera curans”. The wheel of Catherine that is depicted in the seal also forms the symbolic origin of the University’s logo.            

The full sentence from which the citation originated is: "Auxilio stabilita Dei, mortalibus audax restitit insidiis, promissa nec aspera curans." – ‘Strengthened by the help of God, she [St. Catherine] boldly resisted the people’s hostility, whereby she was concerned with promises, not earthly adversities.’[1]

According to the legend, the faithful Catherine is said to have stood up to fifty scholars in a dispute on faith and even converted some of them to Christianity during the persecution of Christians – probably during the reign of Roman emperor Maximinus (305-313). In other versions of the legend on St. Catherine, there is talk of promises that the emperor is said to have made to her: She would be “the first in the palace after the empress” if she agreed to sacrifice to the gods. However, Catherine withstood all temptations and remained loyal to her faith. As a reaction, the furious emperor condemned her to death on a breaking wheel and had her beheaded.

Today, St. Catherine is worshiped as the patron saint of pupils, students and scholars and the KU dedicated its University seal to the saint. Her saint’s day is celebrated on November 25.

[1] (I carmi di Alfano I, edd. Lentini/Avagliano. C. 42, 9f.)