The Holy Martyr Marina

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The Holy Martyr Marina

  Admin 30, 2008 8:21 pm

The Holy Martyr Marina


JULY 17th

(July 30 West)

1. The Holy Martyr Marina.

Born in Pisidian Antioch of pagan parents, Marina only heard of the Lord Jesus at the age of twelve, of His incarnation of 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 and, further, desired in her soul to suffer for Christ and be baptised with the blood of martyrdom. Her father hated her for her faith, and would not regard her as his Jaughter. 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 honouring or dishonouring them. I will not give them that honour that belongs to my Creator alone.' Then Olymbrius put her to harsh torture, and threw her into prison all 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 Sion 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 Valopedi 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.



FOR CONSIDERATION

Until Christ becomes to the soul all that has any lasting and unchanging worth; until then a man cannot come to suffer for Christ. How was St Marina, a fifteen-year-old girl, able to follow this path? Because Christ was everything to her. How was St Julitta able to rejoice, seeing her three-year-old son Cerycus dead for the Christian faith? Again, because Christ was everything. Here is how St Tikhon of Zadonsk speaks, in detail and in the form of a conversation between Christ and man. of how Christ is everything to man: 'Do you desire good for yourself? All good is in Me. Do you desire blessings? All blessings are in Me. Do you desire beauty? What is lovelier than I? Do you desire noble birth? What birth is more noble than that of the Son of God and the Virgin? Do you desire rank? Who is of higher rank than the King of heaven? Do you desire glory? Who is more glorious than I? Riches? All riches are in Me. Wisdom? I am the Wisdom of God. Friendship? Who is a greater friend than I I who laid down My life for all? Help? Who

can help but I? Happiness? Who can be happy without Me? Do you seek consolation in distress? Who will console you but I? Do you seek peace? I am the peace of the soul. Do you seek life? In Me is the fount of life. Do you seek light? I am the light of the world.'

TO PONDER

Let me ponder on the miraculous brazen serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21):

1. How the whole people was dying from snake-bite, until Moses raised up the brazen serpent on a pole.

2. How each man who had been bitten by a serpent, as soon as he looked on the brazen serpent, was healed.

3. How the brazen serpent prefigured Christ on the Cross.

HOMILY on the necessity of re-iteration.

'Wherefore I will not be negligent to pui you alwavs in remembrance of these things, though \e know them, and be established in the present truth' (II Pet. 1:12).

A ploughman ploughs a field. Does he not repeat the same action again and again? How else would the field be tilled, if he did not repeat his action from dawn to dusk, deepening furrow after furrow?

A traveller goes along a road. Does he not. every moment, renew the same action, the sajne effort? How else would his journey pass and his destination be reached?

A carpenter cuts planks in his workshop. Does he not repeat the same action for every plink? How else would he prepare the required number of planks?

My brethren, is not everything that we do on a practical level a series of repetitions? Let not the preacher of truth grow weary and say: 'I have told them, and will not repeat it!' Let not the hearer of truth grow proud and say: 'I have heard that once, and don't need to hear it again.'

O teacher of the truth, do not be afraid of repeating again and again; of teaching by repetition and reminding by repetition. Without repetition, the field is not ploughed nor the road travelled, nor the plank prepared. That is your task: to plough, to lead, to prepare.

O hearer of the truth, do not grow proud and say that you have heard the truth once. Truth is food for the soul. You have eaten bread today, and yesterday and the day before, month by month and year by year. And you will go on eating it, to strengthen your body. Feed your soul as well. Feed it with truth; with the same truth yesterday and today and tomorrow and for the rest of your life, that your soul may become whole and filled with light.

O Lord Jesus, feed us every day and even' hour with Thy truth with Thyself, O Jesus, Thou sweet food! To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.

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