Holy Martyr Marina
July 30 (July 17 old calendar)
Born in Pisidian Antioch from pagan parents, Marina only heard of the Lord Jesus at the age of twelve when she found out about His incarnation from the most pure Virgin, His many miracles, His death by crucifixion and His glorious Resurrection. Her little heart was inflamed with love for the Lord, and she vowed never to marry. Furthermore, she desired in her soul to suffer for Christ and be baptized with the blood of martyrdom. Her father hated her for her faith, and would not regard her as his daughter. The imperial governor, Olymbrius, hearing of Marina and learning that she was a Christian, at first desired her for his wife.
When Marina refused, he ordered her to sacrifice to idols. To this, Marina replied, "I shall not worship nor offer sacrifice to dead idols, lacking the breath of life, which have no awareness of themselves and are not even aware of our honoring or dishonoring them. I will not give them that honor that belongs to my Creator alone." Then Olymbrius put her to harsh torture, and threw her into prison wounded and bleeding. Marina prayed to God in the prison and after she had prayed, there appeared to her first the devil in the form of a terrible serpent, which twined itself about her head. When she made the sign of the Cross, the serpent split asunder and disappeared. Then she was bathed in heavenly light, the walls and roof of the prison disappeared and a Cross was revealed, resplendent and lofty.
On the top of the Cross was perched a white dove, from which there came a voice, "Rejoice, Marina, thou dove of Christ, daughter of the Zion that is on high, for the day of thy joy is drawing near!" And Marina was healed by the power of God of all her wounds. The demented judge tortured her the next day by fire and water, but Marina endured it all as if not in her own body. She was finally sentenced to death by beheading. At the moment of her death, the Lord Jesus appeared to her, accompanied by angels. She was beheaded in the time of the Emperor Diocletian, but remains alive in soul and in power in heaven and on earth. One of her hands is preserved in the monastery of Vatopedi on the Holy Mountain. Even in Albania, in the Langa mountains overlooking Lake Ochrid, there is a monastery of St. Marina with some of her wonderworking relics. Numerous miracles have been wrought in this monastery and still are, witnessed not only by Christians but also by Moslems. The Turks have such a veneration for this holy place that they have never laid hands on either the place or the monastery's possessions. At one time, a Turk was caretaker of the monastery.
Troparion, Tone 5
O glorious Marina betrothed to God the Word,/ thou didst abandon all things earthly/ and contest victoriously as a virgin./ For thou didst trample on the invisible foe when he appeared,/ O holy trophy-bearer,/ and thou dost now bestow gifts of healing on the world.
Kontakion, Tone 3
Adorned with the beauty of virginity,/ thou hast been crowned with unfading wreaths, O Marina./ Having shed thy blood in holy martyrdom/ and radiant with miracles of healing,/ thou hast received the prize of victory from the hand of thy Creator.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
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