September 2, 2010

Miracles of the Holy Martyr Mamas

St. Mamas the Martyr (Feast Day - September 2)

By St. Dimitri of Rostov

The relics of Saint Mamas were buried by the faithful at the place where he had been martyred. It is clear from the testimony of Saint Basil the Great that numerous miracles took place there, for in his homily to the people on the day of the commemoration of the holy martyr Mamas, the saint wrote:

"Keep the holy martyr in remembrance, you who have beheld him in a vision; you who have gathered in this place, having him as your helper; you who have called on his name, and have been granted success in your undertakings; you who were once in error and have been guided by him into life; you who have been healed of your infirmities; you whose children, though dead, have been returned to life; you whose lives have been prolonged. Let all of us who have assembled here send up praise to the martyr" (Homily 26).

It is clear from these words of Saint Basil that many healings and miracles worked at the grave of the holy martyr Mamas.

Nor should silence be kept concerning the following miracle [recorded by Nikephoros and George Kedrinos]. When Julian the Apostate was still a youth, desiring to make a show of piety (although he was already a wolf in sheep's clothing), he began to build, at great expense, a wondrous church over the grave of the holy martyr Mamas. This he did not out of piety but hypocritically and out of vanity. And, consequently, a great marvel was seen, for that which was built by day fell down at night. The pillars that had been erected fell into heaps of rubble, and the stones from the wall could not be made to fit back correctly. Others became so hard that they could not be hewn, and still others crumbled into dust. Each morning the mortar and bricks were found blown down from their places as if scattered by the wind. All these signs occurred as a reproof of Julian's impiety and as an indication of the persecution of the Church of God which was to come at his hands.

Such was the miracle performed over the grave of the Saint, for he did not wish a church to be built and dedicated to him by one who was soon to raise up persecution against piety. By the prayers, O Lord, of Thy holy martyr Mamas, work for us a sign unto good and deliver us from them that persecute us. Amen.

Reading from the Synaxarion:

Saint Mamas was from Gangra of Paphlagonia. He was born in prison, where his parents were suffering for Christ's sake and ended their lives. He was named Mamas because, after he had long remained without speaking, he addressed his foster mother Ammia as "mama". When they threw St Mamas to the wild beasts, these creatures would not touch him. Finally, one of the pagan priests struck him with a trident. Mortally wounded, St Mamas went out beyond the city limits. There, in a small stone cave, he gave up his spirit to God. He contested for Christ about the year 275.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyr Mamas, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
With the staff bestowed on thee by God, O holy Great Martyr, shepherd us thy people now in green and life-giving pastures; swiftly crush with godly power unseen and wild beasts underneath the feet of them that praise thee with longing; for in dangers we all have thee, O Mamas, as our fervent protector and help.