July 17, 2019

Miracles of Saint Marina After Her Martyrdom in Her Church in Antioch

The first six miracles are recorded in the account of Saint Theotimos, the biographer of Saint Marina and eyewitness to her martyrdom, while the next two were recorded in another account of her life and miracles.

Saint Marina Asks Her Nursemaid and Theotimos To Build Her a Church

1) 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 Saint 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 any one 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 Theotimos, answered her, "I saw the angels of heaven taking the soul of the great Saint Marina and ascending to heaven while they were chanting 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 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 worshiping will cease. I ask you to build a church in my name, in the place where the marble casket is kept."

Construction on the Church Begins

2) I, the miserable Theotimos, 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 Theotimos 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 Theotimos 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.

The Donation of the Merchants

3. 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 by the sea, help them, O Lord and return them to their home safely." They then cried out 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 Saint Marina in Antioch. The queen said to give what they had promised for the church to Theotimos, 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 Marina.

The Stones for the Church Arrive

4. Next 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, Saint 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.

The Wood for the Church is Donated

5. 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 Saint 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."

Completion and Consecration of the Church

6. 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 second day of the month of December. May her intercession always be with us. Amen

The Healing of the Jewish Bleeder and Her Leper Sister

7. There was a very rich Jewish woman in the city of Lystra. She suffered from 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 bedridden. 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 Saint Marina in her church. She began asking them about Saint 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 Saint Marina’s church and pray there. It was as if grace came over her and convinced her that if she did, if she was baptized, believed and prayed to Jesus and asked for Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint Marina every year. May her intercession be with us. Amen.

The Martyr Protects Her Church

8. When numerous miracles took place in the Church of Saint 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 Saint 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 Vespers. John warned the Jew about the consequences of his robbery. He explained to him the power of the miracles Saint 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 Vespers, left the church door open. He was saying to himself that he believed that Saint 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 Saint Marina appeared to him and asked him about what 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 Saint 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!" Saint Marina appeared to him in a dazzling light and said to him, "You have no way out until the priests 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 Saint Marina for the rest of his life.