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The Holy Great Martyress Marina


Com­mem­o­rat­ed on July 17

holy-great-martyress-marinaThe Holy Great­Mar­tyress Mari­na was born in Asia Minor, in the city of Anti­och, into the fam­i­ly of a pagan priest. In infan­cy she lost her moth­er, and her father gave her over into the care of a nurse­maid, who raised Mari­na in the Ortho­dox faith. Upon learn­ing that his daugh­ter had become a Chris­t­ian, the father angri­ly dis­owned her. Dur­ing the time of the per­se­cu­tion against Chris­tians under the emper­or Dio­clet­ian (284–305), Saint Mari­na at fif­teen years of age was arrest­ed and locked up in prison. With firm trust in the will of God and His help, the young pris­on­er pre­pared for her impend­ing fate. The gov­er­nor Olym­brios, charmed with the beau­ti­ful girl, tried to per­suade her to renounce the Chris­t­ian faith and become his wife. But the saint, unswayed, refused his false offers. The vexed gov­er­nor gave the holy mar­tyress over to tor­ture. Hav­ing beat­en her fierce­ly, they fas­tened the saint with nails to a board and tore at her body with tri­dents. The gov­er­nor him­self, unable to bear the hor­ror of these tor­tures, hid his face in his hands. But the holy mar­tyress remained unyield­ing. Thrown for the night into prison, she was grant­ed Heav­en­ly aid and healed of her wounds. Tied to a tree, they scorched the mar­tyress with fire. Bare­ly alive, the mar­tyress prayed: “Lord, Thou hast grant­ed me to go through fire for Thine Name, grant me also to go through the water of holy Bap­tism”.

Hear­ing the word “water”, the gov­er­nor gave orders to drown the saint in a large bar­rel. The mar­tyress besought the Lord, that this man­ner of exe­cu­tion should become for her holy Bap­tism. When they plunged her into the water, there sud­den­ly shone a light, and a snow-white dove came down from Heav­en, bear­ing in its beak a gold­en crown. The fet­ters put upon Saint Mari­na of them­selves came apart. The mar­tyress stood up in the fount of Bap­tism glo­ri­fy­ing the Holy Trin­i­ty – Father, Son, and Holy Spir­it. Saint Mari­na emerged from the fount com­plete­ly healed, with­out any trace of burns. Amazed at this mir­a­cle, the peo­ple glo­ri­fied the True God, and many came to believe. This brought the gov­er­nor into a rage, and he gave orders to kill any­one, who might con­fess the Name of Christ. There then per­ished 15,000 Chris­tians, and the holy Mar­tyress Mari­na was behead­ed. The suf­fer­ings of the Great­Mar­tyress Mari­na were described by an eye-wit­ness of the event, named Theo­ti­mos.

Up until the tak­ing of Con­stan­tino­ple by West­ern cru­saders in the year 1204, the relics of the Great­Mar­tyress Mari­na were sit­u­at­ed in the Pan­tepon­teia monastery. Accord­ing to oth­er sources, they were locat­ed in Anti­och until the year 908 and from there trans­ferred to Italy. Her ven­er­a­ble hand was trans­ferred to Athos, to the Bato­pe­deia monastery.

© 1996–2001 by trans­la­tor Fr. S. Janos.