THE HOLY FEMALE MARTYR MARINA

July 17

From the Prologue

Marina was born in Pisidian, Antioch of pagan parents. At the age of twelve Marina learned about the Lord Jesus Christ; how He became incarnate of the All-Pure Virgin, how He worked many miracles, how He suffered death on the Cross and gloriously resurrected. Her young heart became inflamed with love for the Lord and she vowed that she would never marry and further desired in her soul to suffer for Christ and to be baptized in the blood of martyrdom. Her father hated her because of her faith and did not consider her as his daughter. The imperial deputy Olymbrius, learning from Marina that she was a Christian, first wished that she would become his wife. When Marina rejected that he ordered her to bow down before the idols and to that St. Marina replied: "I will not bow down nor offer sacrifice to the breathless and dead idols who do not recognize themselves nor do they know that we honor or dishonor them. I will not give them that honor which belongs only to my Creator." Then Olymbrius subjected Marina to harsh torture and threw her into prison completely covered with wounds and blood. While in prison Marina prayed to God and, after prayer, the devil appeared to her under the guise of a horrible serpent which entwined itself around her head. When she made the sign of the cross the serpent burst and vanished. Then she was engulfed with a heavenly light and it seemed to her that the walls of the prison vanished together with the roof and a radiant and towering cross appeared and atop the cross a white dove, from which a voice came saying: "Rejoice Marina, rational [discerning] dove of Christ, daughter of Zion in the highest, for your day of rejoicing has arrived." Marina was healed from all her wounds and pains by the power of God. The demented judge tortured her the following day, both in fire and in water, but Marina endured all as though she were in another body. Finally he condemned her to be beheaded. Before her death the Lord Jesus appeared to her with angels. She was beheaded during the reign of Diocletian but in soul and power she remained alive in the heavens and on earth. A hand of St. Marina reposes in the Monastery of Vatopedi on Mt. Athos. However, atop Mt. Langa in Albania overlooking Lake Ohrid, there is a monastery dedicated to St. Marina with a portion of her miraculous relics. Countless miracles have occurred and still occur in this monastery, whose witnesses are not only Christians but many Muslims as well. So much did the Turks have respect for this holy place that they never dared disturb either this holy place or the property of this monastery. At one time a Turk was the guardian of the monastery.





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