Coptic Orthodox

St. Marina the Monk, St. Matrona of Moscow, and Matushka Olga of Alaska |  Axia Women

On this day, the 15th of Mesra (21 August), the church celebrates the commemoration of the departure of the nun St. Marina, known as St. Marina the Monk, who was the daughter of a very rich Christian man called Euganius. Her name was Mariam, and her mother Sarah died when she was a little girl. Her father raised her and brought her up well in the Christian faith. When he wanted to give her in marriage and to go himself and become a monk in one of the monasteries, she told him, "O my Father, why would you save your own soul, and destroy mine?" He answered saying, "What shall I do with you? You are a woman." She told him, "I will take off my woman's dress and will put on the garb of a man." She rose up straightway, shaved off the hair on her head and put on the garb of a man. When her father saw her strong determination and persistent desire, he gave all his possessions to the poor, keeping only a very little for himself, and he called her Marina instead of Mariam (Mary).

They both lived together in one of the monasteries and fought the spiritual fight. Then her father, who was an old man, died after about a decade. St. Marina was left by herself, and she doubled her fasting, prayers and increased her asceticism. No one knew that she was a woman, and they attributed her soft voice to her intense asceticism and vigilant prayers.

Once the abbot of the monastery sent her, together with three monks, to the city on certain business of the monastery, and they lodged in an inn. That same night, one of the king's soldiers lodged in that inn, and he saw the daughter of the owner of the inn, and he defiled her virginity. He instructed her to tell her father, "that the young monk, Father Marina, did that to me." When she had conceived, and her father knew that, he asked her and she answered saying, "that it was the young monk, abba Marina, who did that to me." Her father then became angry, went to the monastery and began to curse and insult the monks. The Abbot met with him, comforted and calmed him down and then sent him away. The Abbot then called this saint and rebuked her much. When she knew what had happened, she wept and bowed down and said, "I am young, I have sinned, forgive me O my Father." The Abbot was furious with her, and cast her out of the monastery. She dwelt outside of the monastery for a long time. When the daughter of the inn keeper had the baby, her father took him to St. Marina, set him down before her and left. She took the child, moved among the surrounding shepherds and nursed him with milk. She increased her fasting and prayers for the three years, that she was expelled from the monastery. The monks felt pity upon her and asked the Abbot to readmit her. The Abbot consented to their request and readmitted her to the monastery after he had laid heavy penalties and severe rules upon the Saint. She performed very hard labors, such as cooking, cleaning, and watering, as well as her regular monastic duties.

When the child Ephraim grew, he became a monk. After St. Marina had completed forty years, she fell ill for three days then departed in peace. The Abbot ordered to take off her old ragged clothes and dress her with new ones prior to carrying her to the place of praying. When they removed her clothing, and found that she was a woman, they all shouted out saying, "God have mercy." They informed the Abbot who came, marvelled, and wept because of what he had done to her due to false accusations. The Abbot then called the inn keeper and told him that the monk Marina was a woman not a man. The inn keeper went to where her body was and wept much. After they prayed over her body, they came forward to be blessed from her body. One of the monks had sight only in one eye, he put his face close to her body and immediately he gained sight in his blind eye. After she was buried, God allowed a devil to torment the inn keeper's daughter and the soldier, her friend, and brought them to where the Saint was buried and both confessed their iniquity in front of everyone. God manifested innumerable miracles through her blessed body.

May her prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

Fr. Bishoy Kamel1 visited a sick person who was complaining from pain in his back. Abouna Pishoy started to give him words of solace, but the man answered, "I'm not asking God to take away my illness. I only ask Him to give me the strength to stand up for prayer and take from me the severe headache that hinders me from praying 'Our Father.' As long as the headache was there, I couldn't concentrate on one word."

Abouna Pishoy replied, "Don't be upset if you are not able to attend church or stand up for prayer, or even say 'Our Father,' because you participate in Jesus' suffering. Give thanks for this participation. For Jesus also suffered back pain under the heavy burden of the cross."

Some days later, when this sick man came to

On the 23rd day of Abib is the commemoration of the martyrdom of the blessed St. Marina, who overcame the Devil. She was one of the daughters of the nobles of Antioch. Her parents were pagan. When her mother died, her father sent her to a nanny to raise her, who was a Christian. She taught Marina the Faith of Christ. When Marina reached the age of fifteen years, her father died.

One day she heard her nurse talking about the biography of the martyrs and what glory they receive in the Kingdom of Heaven. She longed to become a martyr in the Name of the Lord Christ. One day St. Marina went out of her house with her maiden servants, and on her way she passed by Lopharius Ebrotus, the governor, who admired her much when he saw her. He ordered her brought to him. When the soldiers came to her, she told them that she was Christian. In turn, when they told the governor this, he was distressed for he liked her, and he had her brought to him by force. He offered her the worship of the idols and asked her to forsake God, but she refused.

 

 

Saint Demiana

How many of us ever stand up and tell other people what we believe about Jesus Christ? How many of us are really convinced that our faith is so completely a part of what we are that is worth proclaiming happily to those who question us? Being one of Jesus' disciples can not be easy, for as Jesus once said:

"Beware of men, for they will deliver you

On the 24th of Abib, St. Abanoub  was martyred. He was born in the city of Nehisa (District of Talkha). His parents were pure and merciful and they reared him in the fear of God. When he was martyred by the Roman rule, Diocletian, who incited the persecution against the Christian, St. Abanoub was twelve years old, and he desired to shed his blood for the Name of Christ. On July 31 our Church celebrates his death, as the day of his birth into eternal life. Abanoub's relics, as well as the relics of many Christians who died with him, are still preserved in St. Virgin Mary and St. Abanoub church in Samanoud.

It is also said that the Holy Family visited that place during their Flight into Egypt. The church still contains the well from which The Lord Jesus, St. Mary, and St. Joseph drank. Numerous apparitions and miracles do occur in that church until this very day. Abanoub was born in a town called Nehisa in the Nile Delta. He was the only son of good Christian parents who died when he was a young child. At age twelve Abanoub entered the church to hear the priest asking the congregation to remain faithful during the persecutions provoked by Diocletian, the Roman emperor.

 

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