Saint Marina THE MARTYR
THE ELECT MARTYR, SAINT MARINA
I- THE EARLY YEARS: St. Marina evolved in Antioch in Pisidia. This city was in the middle of Asia Minor in Perga on the borders of Pisidia. [Not to be confused with "Great Antioch" on River Aasi, about 15 miles east of the Mediterranean; where the Throne of the Pope of Antioch was.] The city was founded by Silesius Ist. (Nectarius,) one of the army Generals of Alexander the Great. He called it Antioch after his father Antiochus. It was an important commercial center, and the Romans made it their headquarters for all Southern Galatia. Silesius gave residence to a group of Jews there. The book of Acts mentions that St. Paul visited Antioch in Pisidia during his first evangelical journey, and delivered a sermon in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. Many of the Jews believed, but some of them "stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from the region" Paul and Barnabas "..made many disciples"in that city. St. Paul mentioned to his disciple Timothy the "persecutions and afflictions which happened to me at Antioch." Nothing much is left now from that city except some ruins near a city called Yelfetch on the southern slope of the mountainous chain called "Sultan Daghlary" in mid Turkey
II-THE FAMILY OF THE SAINT:Diocletian [Valerius Diocletianus,] (245-313) Roman Emperor from 284 to 305. Diocles, on the murder of Numerian, the army proclaimed him Emperor at Chalcedon on 17 Sept. 284. This date was considered the beginning of the Coptic Calendar of the Martyrs because of the extreme cruelty Diocletian (as he now chose to call himself) was famous for in torturing and killing the Christians. He made his place domus divina and his own person sacred. It was in 303 that the Great Persecution broke out. He issued several edicts to demolish churches, burn Christian books and torture and kill all who refuse to worship him or his idols. On the other hand, he built many temples for his gods and assigned priests and high priests to serve them.The chief of those high priests was called Dasius. He was the father of an only daughter named Marina. Dasius was extremely busy with his devotion to his offerings, incense and rites. When Marina reached her fifth year, her mother died. Her father could not find time to care for his daughter. He put her to the care of a Christian governess
III-THE SAINT IN THE HOUSE OF HER NURSEMAID: This nanny was living in a small town, about 15 miles from Antioch Pisidia. Marina lived with her new nanny away from her father’s idols and gods and his blasphemous practices. This nursemaid enjoyed a great deal of piety, righteousness and love of Christ. She was fond of reading the biographies of the martyrs and saints as well as the sayings of the holy fathers of the church.In this beautiful, holy, spiritual atmosphere lived little Marina enjoying the blessings of this saint. There, in her nanny’s house she heard nothing but prayers and religious enchanting; and she saw nothing but meekness, faith and hope. Her nursemaid could teach her true faith, not only by words but mostly by the good example and the tender regard. Little Marina felt joy and comfort with her nanny. She forgot the instability and the conjure which were in her parents’ house, and she loved her nanny with all her heart. She was brought up in the best of manners. She learned courage, purity and truthfulness. Marina lived with this saint for ten years until she was fifteen. Her father died, but St. Marina preferred to stay with her governess. Also, the nanny considered Marina’s stay with her a blessing from the Lord.
IV-THE SPIRITUAL FIGHT OF THE HOLY SAINT :St. Marina heard from her nanny a great deal about the holy martyrs; about their steadfast faith, and their extreme courage when facing the ferocious rulers and the mad emperors. She was told about how those heroes did not hesitate to declare their faith when the rulers threatened to torture them and to throw them to the hungry beasts. She knew how the martyrs were actually racing each other to gain their martyrdom because of their love to Christ the Lord.One day she started praying " You know, our compassionate Lord, how weak the human nature is. I ask You to give me strength to be able to conquer Your opponents and to praise you for ever. Amen."One day, a new ruler came to Antioch Pisidia from Asia. His name was Alupharnus. He was assigned to capture all Christians and torture them in the most ferocious way. While the evil ruler was in his carriage with his soldiers looking for the Christians, he saw St. Marina with her nanny, going out from their house. The ruler saw them. He was dazzled by her beauty and decided to marry her, whatever it would cost him. He sent his soldiers to bring her to him. When they tried to do so, Marina started praying; "Have mercy on me, O my Savior. Do not destroy my soul in the hands of the blasphemers, nor my life by the blood-shedders. Do not forsake me lest the sinners should destroy my soul and defile my ears and my mind. Send Your grace to me from up high to give me strength, and to keep me steadfast in my faith without fear, and to be able to answer that blasphemer according to his demand. I see my poor soul like a lamb among wolves, or like a bird confronting the hunters, or a fish in the net of fishermen. Come to me, Lord Jesus Christ, and save me from their hands. Glory and praise be to You for ever, Amen." The soldiers returned to the ruler and told him that they could not bring her to him (to marry her) because she was a Christian. The ruler was deeply disturbed by the news.
V-CONFRONTING OF THE RULER: The ruler was very angry. The devil moved him to frighten this young girl with threats of torture and death. He ordered his soldiers to bring ‘the slave’ to him by force. When they did he said to her, "From which race are you?" She answered, "I am a Christian, and I am not a slave." He asked, "So, which tribe are you from? What is your name?" She replied, "I am from the tribe of Jesus Christ. My name is Marina." The ruler asked, "Which god do you worship?"Marina said, "I worship God who created heaven and earth and all creation."He asked, "Then you worship Jesus the Nazarene from Galilee whom the Jews had crucified.""Yes, I do," she replied, "though I am not worthy that He may help my weak soul with His grace, and save me from your blasphemy."The ruler ordered his soldiers to keep her in his custody until they entered the city. When they did, he entered the temple of his gods to offer sacrifices unto them. He, then, called Saint Marina and when she arrived, he said to her, "Let it be known to you, Marina, that I pity your youth and your beauty. I advice you to change your mind and obey my orders to worship my gods and offer them sacrifices. If you do I will surely reward you with great rewards, and you will gain privileges over your peers."The saint answered him, "I will never deviate from worshipping my living God. I will offer my sacrifice of gratitude only to the great Creator, the Savior of all mankind. "The ruler, then, said to her, "This persistence will only cause you great torment. Your members will be cut with iron and burned with fire. You will suffer my great rage, and nothing can save you from my hand except by being submissive and obedient to me. Get rid of your stubbornness and worship my gods. This way you will find rest, and you will save your beauty. I will, then, give you abundantly the most expensive presents, and will raise you to the highest ranks. You will be my wife, and will become a princess!" The great saint answered him, "You blasphemer, who has a cruel heart, do you think that you can scare me with your threats ? I do believe that my merciful God will strengthen me, and will send me help from His holy place. I know that you have authority only over my body, but you have no authority over my spirit. My God says in His holy Gospel, "And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him." As for me, I am quite ready to receive your torture, thus I will be worthy to join the wise virgins in their comfort. They became worthy to gain the real Groom, Jesus Christ, and to go with Him to heavenly joy. My Lord Jesus Christ, whom I worship, died for our salvation; and I am not worthy to offer my body as a sacrifice for Him, or to suffer all kinds of torments for His sake."The ruler became furious. He ordered the saint’s hands and feet to be tied with ropes, and to scourge her and beat her with clubs.
VI-THE GLORY OF PAIN:As they tortured her, the saint was looking up to heaven, and praying, "To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O My God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed. Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O Lord. Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation. On You I wait all day. Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they have been from of old." For I withstand these pains because I confess Your holy name. Send Your mercy and compassion to me so my grief will become joy."As the saint was enchanting and praising the Lord, the soldiers were beating her so severely that her flesh was torn and her blood flew profusely. The Archangel Michael, then, appeared to her and said to her,"Great is your faith, Marina. Have more strength, for it is by your good confession that your soul will survive, and you will gain the holy baptism."The people who were watching her were crying. Some of them said , "O Marina, your pretty body has been destroyed by this cruel ruler. His intention is to erase your name from the face of the earth. Please, obey his orders, and believe in his gods, so you can be saved from his torture."The great among the martyrs then answered, "God has already helped me and sent the venerable Archangel Michael to me to take away my pains and to heal my wounds. He gave me strength, and opened my eyes and I could see the wonders of the Lord who made me able to expose and shame that blasphemer. Now, what do you want from me, O weak in faith? Because, if my flesh is to be destroyed, my spirit will be renewed and will be with the wise virgins. As for you, please listen and believe in the Lord for He listens to all who pray to Him. But I will never bow to mute and blind gods, which were carved by men." Then Marina looked at the ruler and said,"Whatever you want to do according to the instructions of your father, Satan, do it as fast as you can; because my God has comforted me, and He is my Strength. If you have a power over my body to destroy it, you have none over my spirit. Only my God has the authority over my spirit, and He will save me from your hands, that I can expose you; the rejected blasphemer who is far from the living God, and whose soul is descending to Hades where Satan and his soldiers dwell. The power of God is surely far from you, and the eternal punishment is going to catch you."The ruler, becoming exceedingly furious, ordered his soldiers to comb her flesh with big heated iron forks. The elect saint raised her eyes towards heaven and said,"For dogs have surrounded me; the assembly of the wicked has enclosed me... But You, O Lord, do not be far from me; O my Strength, hasten to help me. Deliver me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth. Help my humility, give me strength and the Spirit of life that You may protect my soul from defilement. With Your help I will be able to face the devil, my enemy, and conquer him, and become a good example for all those who seek Your holy name, which is blessed for ever. Amen."The ruler screamed at her, "I swear by my own life that if you do not bow to the gods, you are going to die in the worst way, and I will cut your members with my sword."The elect martyr answered, "O blasphemer, what life do you have? You should know, you who worship the defiled idols, that if I pity my body, my spirit will not ascend to heaven and will not be crowned with the illuminated wreaths."
VII-IN PRISON:The ruler ordered that she would be put in prison. When she entered, she crossed herself and said, "O Most holy, who designs all good matter. All creation tremble from the fear of Your glory. You are the hope of all those who repent, and You set all captives free. You are a father to all orphans, and a judge to all widows. Look at my humility and poverty and save me. Do not forsake me, my God, for I raised my soul to You and You are my only hope."I, poor Theophimos, used to deliver bread and water to saint Marina from her nanny through a little window in prison. She used to write her prayers, and all what happened to her, and give it to me.While she was praying at night, Archangel Michael appeared to her with a light brighter than that of the sun, and crossed her with the sign of the Holy Cross, and all her wounds and pains disappeared. He said to her, "Have strength, O bride of Christ, the elect saint Marina, for you are going to have all what you asked for. You are going to face your enemy, Satan, fight him and overpower him. You are also going to receive the holy baptism and your spirit is going to rise to the eternal bliss.Marina continued praying until morning, when the ruler called for her.
VIII-MORE FEROCIOUS TORTURE:When Marina was brought to the ruler, he was exceedingly amazed when he saw her completely healed from all signs of his torture. He told her that he was sure then that she was a great magician. She said,"I am not a magician, but I am a worshipper of Jesus Christ. Now your defiled helpless idols have been exposed."The ruler was enraged. He ordered to saw her flesh with iron saws, and to cut her skin with knives. When he thought that she was dead, he ordered his soldiers to put her body back in prison until she rots. Archangel Michael appeared to her again, strengthened her, and repeated what he said to her before. He, then, crossed her, cured her and disappeared
IX-THE DRAGON:While Marina was praying, a huge fearful dragon came out from one of the prison corners. It was spitting fire from its nostrils, and was whistling in an awesome way. When she saw it, Marina was scared, and prayed, "O invisible God, who tied Satan and untied those who were tied by Satan. Who raises the dead, and breaks the power of the great dragon. Look at me and have mercy on me so I can conquer this bad beast with Your power." The dragon came forward towards her. It opened its mouth and swallowed her. Because Marina’s arms were raised in the form of a cross when she was praying, this caused the dragon’s stomach to rupture when it swallowed her. By the grace of God, Marina came out safely, and the dragon immediately succumbed
.X-SATAN:When St. Marina stood again to pray, she noticed the devil coming from the left corner of the prison. He looked like a man, sitting down and crossing his arms around his knees. Marina prayed,"My Lord Jesus Christ, Source of wisdom, King of kings, Eternal Rock. I thank You, my God, for you are a Rock to those who seek refuge in You, and a Guide for those who travel, and a Wreath for the virgins. You are the Savior of the world."When she prayed, she held the devil with her hand. The devil said to her, "Why don’t you listen to the ruler, Marina, and obey his orders?"She found a hammer, and started to beat the devil’s head with it. She stepped on his neck and said to him,"Hold it ! you cursed one, for my God saves me from all sins"When she said that, a bright light came upon her, and the holy Cross appeared to her with a Dove on top of it. The Dove spoke and said to her, "Your are blessed, O holy virgin Marina. A crown of light has been prepared for you, and the doors of Paradise are open, waiting for you."
XI-BAPTISM:Next morning, the ruler ordered his soldiers to bring Marina. When they did, he repeated his orders to her to worship his gods. She refused, and the ruler gave his orders to tie her to a pole and burn her. They did. Then he ordered that they tie her hands and legs, and put her in boiling water. When she was in the water, St. Marina looked up to heaven and said, "O God who dwells in heaven, I ask You to untie me, and to make this water a baptism for me. Dress me with the robe of salvation through it. Take away from me the old man and put on me the new man. Make me, with this baptism, worthy to inherit the life eternal, and make my faith steadfast."A great earthquake shook the place, Marina’s ties were loosened, and she immersed herself in the water three times in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. She came out of the water praising God. A voice came from heaven, and all the people who were gathered there heard it. The voice said,"You are blessed, Marina. You were baptized, and became worthy of the crown of virginity."Many of those who witnessed these events declared their faith, became Christians and were baptized. The ruler ordered all of them to be killed. They were beheaded, and gained the wreath of martyrdom.
XII-MARTYRDOM: The ruler was then sure that Marina’s presence conformed a real danger for his idols and gods. He had but one choice; to behead her. The soldier who was assigned to that task, took her out of town, and there he told the saint that he also believed in Jesus Christ. He told her that he saw Christ with His angels. St. Marina said to him, "For that reason I ask you to wait a little time so I can pray." He agreed.The elect saint started to pray: "O God, who created heaven and earth, hear me. I ask You, my God, for every sinner who comes to You repenting, erase all his sins. Everyone who comes to my alter praying, give him all what he asks for. Anyone who is presented in a scary court of law, and mentions my name in confidence, grant him victory over his foes. Anyone who builds a church in my name, or writes the story of my martyrdom, give him, my Lord, all what pleases his heart. All sick people who ask You wellness in my name, grant them soon, if You will, good physical and mental health. Everyone who comes to my church, or hears the story of my martyrdom, have compassion on him, O Lord, by forgiving all his sins. Anyone who is afflicted, or who falls in the hands of those who are cruel and unjust to him, and he asks You in my name, give him deliverance and relief. Whomsoever travels in an awful route, whether it be by land or in the sea, help him, O Lord, and return him to his home safely. The believers who commemorate my martyrdom, and those who are present in Your holy alter in remembrance of me, whether they be of the clergy or the laity; remember them, O Lord, in that Day when they stand in front of You. Judge them not, but rather give them comfort with Your saints."When Saint Marina finished her prayer, a great earthquake shook the place, and the Savior appeared to her with his angels. The elect saint was scared and threw herself in contrition in front of Him, but the Savior said, "Fear not , O Marina, I came to you to grant you all what you have asked for. You are blessed because you asked for the sinners who come to Me repenting. I will give you more than what you asked. Archangel Michael will protect any church which will have a part of your body. No evil spirit will be able to approach any place where a part of your body, or a book of your biography is kept. Rather, peace and the Spirit of truth will be in that place.Saint Marina, then, said to the swordsman, "My brother, do now what you are assigned to do." He refused and said, "I cannot possibly kill the blessed worshipper of Christ." She answered, "If you do not fulfill what you were ordered to do, you will have no share with me in the Kingdom of Heaven." Asking God to forgive him, the trembling soldier, then, beheaded her, and immediately killed himself by the same sword. The earth was shaking, and many sick and disabled people who were watching, rushed to her body seeking blessings and wellness, and they obtained them. Many saw the angels enchanting around the martyr Marina’s body saying, "There is none like You among gods, O Lord." Many believed and obtained glory with Saint Marina.As for me, poor Theophimos, I was accompanying the elect Saint Marina from the beginning to the end. I wrote her biography with all honesty. I added nothing nor did I cancel anything from it I was the one who took her body and put it in a casket made of marble, and I put plenty of frankincense and scents with it. I put the marble casket in the city of Antioch in Pisidia. Blessed be everyone who commemorates her martyrdom, on the twenty-third day of the month of Abib. She will be interceding for him on the Judgment Day.May her prayers and intercessions be with us always. Praised be the Lord forever. Amen.SOME OF THE
MIRACLES WHICH OCCURRED IN ST. MARINA’S CHURCH AT ANTIOCH, IN PISIDIA, AFTER HER MARTYRDOM.
I-EDIFICATION OF THE CHURCH OF THE MARTYR (1) St. Theophimos said, "One day the nursemaid of the elect Saint Marina came to me and said that while she was praying at midnight. a dazzling light shone on her, and an angel, crowned with precious stones, and accompanied by a group of angels, appeared to her and said, "I am the Archangel Michael, who is assigned to serve Saint Marina. I came to instruct you with what you should do: Harry up and take the body of St. Marina from the marble casket, and put it in a hidden tomb, because she is suffering from the continuous honoring of her body."The nanny said that she did not notice any crosses on him or on anyone of his followers. So, she said to that angel that she was aware that the devil can appear in the form of an angel, but without a cross on him. She asked him if he could be a devil. Then, I poor Theophimos, answered her, " I saw the angels of heaven taking the soul of the great St. Marina and ascending to heaven while they were enchanting with joy. The devil surely envies the believers who are cured every day when they visit her body and gain her blessing."Suddenly, the blessed martyr Marina, came to us in a white robe with golden crosses over it. She greeted us and said to her nanny, "Blessed be the Lord who fulfilled to me all what I asked Him. He promised me that my spirit would be in the Paradise, while my body will be all over the world. That way the Lord would protect all those who touch a part of my body. You should know that the one who appeared to you in the form of an illustrious angel was my enemy, the devil. Cast him away with the sign of the cross. The Archangel Michael will give those who pray to God in any place where a part of my body is kept, all what they ask for. This year all idol worshipping will cease. I ask you to build a church in my name, in the place where the marble casket is kept.
(2) I, the miserable Theophimos, spoke with the saint’s nanny about building the church which the elect martyr desired to have. She answered that she was, in fact, joyous and eager to see the church erected, but she was afraid that they might not have the money or the ability to finish the project. I answered her that we were going to ask for help from God and His believers, and He would, surely, soften their hearts to build the church through the intercessions of the great Saint Marina. While we were talking, Saint Marina appeared to us in her splendid white robe, with golden crosses all over it, and she greeted us, then, she said to her nanny, "Didn’t I say to you that the Lord Christ had promised to grant me all what I asked Him? Why, then, did you doubt Him? Rise, nanny, with Theophimos and start working. The Lord will help you, and the church’s building will be completed." She, then, disappeared in great glory.In the morning, a group of masons came to us and told us that they had a dream. In their dream, behold, there was a glorious queen who ordered them to come to a person named Theophimos for the purpose of digging the foundation of a church. She promised them that she would pay their wages. She even showed them, in the dream, the place where the church would be erected. She marked, herself, the boundaries of the foundation with chalk, and showed them a marble casket which should be included in that building. When they asked about her name, she answered, "Marina."I called the nanny and told her about the masons. We all, then, went together to the casket and found that the place was, indeed, marked with chalk. The masons were amazed, and shouted glorifying the God of Saint Marina. They immediately started digging the foundation.At the sixth hour (twelve noon,) some merchants arrived and told us that they had traveled from their land loaded with a lot of merchandise and money. When they approached Antioch, they were attacked by highway robbers who plundered them of all what they had. They remained all day chagrined and hungry, and in that evening, one of them started reading the biography of Saint Marina. He reached her prayer, before her martyrdom, where she said, "..and whomsoever travels in an awful route, whether it be by land or in the sea, help him, O Lord and return him to his home safely." They then screamed asking for the intercession of the elect Martyr Marina. They vowed to give tithes of whatever they recover from the robbers to Saint Marina. Suddenly a great king appeared to them accompanied by an honorable queen. They had with them the thieves in handcuffs and all the goods and the money which the merchants had lost to the thieves earlier that day. The king and the queen returned their properties to them and instructed them to give what they vowed to the church of St. Marina in Antioch. The queen said to give what they had promised for the church to Theophimos, and with it she gave them fifty ounces of gold to deliver it to him for the same purpose. The merchants asked about their names, and knew that they were Archangel Michael and the elect martyr Saint MarinaNext morning, Ten men came to us with thirty camels with them. On each of the camels there was a huge load of stones. They told us that they arrived from a far land and when they had approached Antioch, they unloaded the camels and set them to pasture on the grass. They also started to have some food. When they finished eating, they fetched the camels, but they did not find them. Moreover, when they tried to go back to their place where they left the stones, they discovered that they were lost. They were greatly disturbed, and thought that they would surely die. They started to pray and ask for the intercession of Saint Marina. To their great surprise, and delight, St. Marina came to their rescue. She asked them to follow her, and she guided them to the place of their load of stones, and they found the camels with it. The saint told them to take the stones to her church in Antioch, and guided them to our place.When the masons finished the construction, the carpenters started to work. At that time, a man came from Antioch and said to us, "My master is a wood merchant. One day, a terrible fire threatened all the wood in his store. He stood up praying to God, and asked for the intercession of St. Marina so she would save his trade and he vowed to donate one quarter of his wood to her church if she did. Immediately, Archangel Michael appeared to him in an illustrious form, holding a golden cross in his hand. He extended his hand with the cross towards the fire and said, ‘The Almighty God who extinguished the fire from around the Three Holy Young men will put off this fire.’ The fire was extinguished, and all the wood was saved." The man added, "And now my master is asking you to send someone to carry the wood that he had vowed to donate to the church."From all these pledges, the building of the church was completed. His Holiness Pope Gregory came to consecrate it with some Metropolitans, Bishops and priests. They saw the great Saint Marina in their midst. The consecration of the church was on the twenty-third day of the month of Hator. May her intercession always be with us. Amen
.II-THE HEALING OF THE BLEEDER AND HER LEPER SISTER: There was a very rich Jewish woman in the city of Lystra. She suffered from a chronic severe bleeding. For seven long years, no physician could help her, and she spent a good deal of her money in vain. She became wasted, pale and bed ridden. One day a group of her Christian neighbors visited her, and told her that they were on their way to Antioch in Pisidia to celebrate the feast of the blessed martyr St. Marina in her church. She began asking them about St. Marina, and they briefed her about the intercessions of the saint and the miracles which took place in her church. The Jewish lady asked them if she could accompany them and go to her church seeking her intercession. But they told her that she could not do that until she was baptized and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. The lady, then, felt a great urge to go to St. Marina’s church and pray there. As if a grace came over her and convinced her that if she did, if she was baptized, believed and prayed to Jesus and asked for St. Marina’s intercession, she would surely gain the cure which she had, for so long, asked for. She immediately called four strong men, who carried her over a stretcher, and brought her to the church, with her Christian neighbors.There, in the church, she asked the priests to baptize her, so she would be able to approach the holy body of St. Marina. She was baptized, had communion and prayed beside the marble casket and spent her night beside it. In the morning, she woke up completely cured. She told the priests that she saw in her dream St. Marina and heard her saying to her, "Now that you are healed, keep the baptism which you have gained holy." She vowed to celebrate the feast of the holy martyr every year. After three days the lady returned home with her Christian neighbors.When her husband and relatives saw that she was completely healed, they were extremely amazed. They inquired from her about what had happened, and she told them all about her baptism, communion and the intercessions of St. Marina. They, then, said to her, "If what you have told us is true, we would like to see the power of the intercession of St. Marina in curing your sister’s leprosy. And if the martyr’s prayers heal your sister, we all are going to seek baptism and become Christians." She told them that she brought some holy oil from the church of St. Marina. They called for a priest who prayed for the sister, anointed her with the oil, and she was cured. They were baptized and became Christians. The family presented three golden oil lamps and expensive curtains and many other valuable gifts to the church. They were also persevering to celebrate the feast of St. Marina every year.May her intercession be with us. Amen.
III-THE MARTYR PROTECTS HER CHURCH: When numerous miracles took place in the church of St. Marina, the devil envied everyone who gained from her blessings. He became adamant to conceal her body by some cunning trick.The devil appeared in the form of a great king with many servants and followers, to a Jewish man who lived in Antioch in Pisidia . The devil promised this Jew to make him rich and to give him many presents of gold if he could find a way to steal the body of St. Marina, plus whatever he could take from the vessels and curtains, from her church. The Jew went to a Christian man named John, who was related to one of the Church Board members. The Jew told John about his intention and wanted to make a deal with him to pay him if he would leave the church door open after the Vespers Prayer. John warned the Jew about the consequences of his robbery. He explained to him the power of the miracles St. Marina performs in her church, and what could happen to him if he despised her holy place. The Jewish man did not believe anything he told him. One Saturday evening, John, after the Vespers Prayer, left the church door open. He was saying to himself that he believed that St. Marina was capable to protect her church and give a rough lesson to the Jew.In the thick of the night, the Jew sneaked in the dark and was in his way to the church, when St. Marina appeared to him and asked him about what was he intended to do at that time of the night. He told her that he had challenged a Christian that he could steal Marina’s body from her church and sell it; and if he succeeded, that Christian would convert to Judaism. He added, "I am going to see what miracle can a dead body punish me with !"He entered the church, and looked in the room where the icon of St. Marina was displayed. There were three golden oil- lamps hanging in front of her icon. He stretched his arm to one of the wooden corbels from which the lamp was hanging, but his hand was glued to the wood. He was hanging in the air and started screaming, "O Saint Marina, have mercy on me !" St. Marina appeared to him in a dazzling light and said to him, "You have no way out until the priests would arrive in the morning and see you hanging there." In the morning, all the congregation witnessed that great miracle, and heard the Jew confessing his sin. He became Christian and served in the church of St. Marina for the rest of his life.