January 10

From the Prologue

Marcian was born in Rome. As a presbyter, he lived the remainder of his life in Constantinople during the greater part of the reign of Emperor Marcian and Empress Plucheria. Inheriting enormous wealth from his parents, Marcian generally spent it on two goals: either on building or restoring churches or on charity for the poor. He built two new churches in Constantinople, St. Anastasia and St. Irene, both famous for their beauty and sacredness. When he was asked, "Why do you spend so much on churches?" He replied, "If I had a daughter and wanted to marry her to a nobleman, would I not spend much gold in order to adorn her as a worthy bride? And, here I am adorning the Church, the Bride of Christ." As much as this wonderful man was generous toward the churches and the indigent; so much was he austere, very austere toward himself following the apostolic exhortation: "If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that" (I Timothy 6:8). It is written about him: "He was totally in God and God in him, and presented himself to God in fullness of years and good works," in the year 471 A.D.



The Spirit possesses the gifts, the Spirit imparts the gifts,

To some, blessed mercy; to some, bold understanding,

To some, a special virgin's purity,

To some, a living love or a correct mind.

According to the strength of one's faith, a new gift, the Spirit adds:

If the faith grows, which moves mountains,

The treasury of the Spirit, then opened is

And, gift upon gift, as rain, descends upon the faithful one.

St. Gregory, because of his great faith,

To spiritual heights, like an eagle soared.

St. Marcian, because of his great faith,

With heavenly mercy was illuminated.

The light of theology, to Gregory was imparted.

To Marcian was given grace; the chrism of praising.

O Heavenly Spirit, Lord and King,

Your wondrous gifts, from us, do not withhold,

But through the prayers of Your chosen vessels

In the day of the Dreadful Judgment, from condemnation, save us.

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