February 12

From the Prologue

Maria was a young woman with indomitable courage. After the death of her mother, her father desired the monastic tonsure. Maria did not wish to be separated from her father and they both agreed to journey to a monastery for monks: Maria with cropped hair and in masculine attire, appeared as a young man. Her father died and Maria was tonsured a monk and received the name Marius. In the proximity of the monastery, there was an inn and the daughter of the innkeeper was attracted to Marius, the alleged monk. After unsuccessfully pursing Marius, the innkeeper's daughter accused Marius of illicit sexual relations with her, for she had become pregnant with someone else and had given birth to a son. Maria did not defend herself and was banished from the monastery with ridicule. With someone else's child in her arms, Maria lived for three years in a grove belonging to the monastery enduring hunger, frost and every difficulty and deprivation. Meanwhile, the innkeeper's daughter went insane and soon after that Maria also died. Only after her death was it discovered that the "monk Marius" was a woman. The deranged daughter of the innkeeper, as soon as she touched the body of St. Maria, was healed and after that acknowledged her terrible sin. St. Maria died and took up habitation in eternal joy in the year 508 A.D.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas