Meet the Girl Who Defeated the Devil…

Saint Marina came from a wealthy family of pagans in the city of Antioch of Pisidia (southern Asia Minor).  She was raised with no knowledge of Christ in her life. Yet at the tender age of fifteen, Marina defeated the devil and all his snares, through faith in Jesus Christ. A child born a non-believer, became a believer and defeated the Devil.

The name of the father of this saint was Decius, high priest of the gods of the city of Antioch; now at that time Decius was emperor. And when Saint Marina was five years old her mother died, and her father committed her to a nurse so that she might live outside the city; now this nurse was a Christian, and she taught Marina all the Faith of Christ. And when Marina reached the age of fifteen years, her father died.

One day she heard her nurse talking about the labors and fights of the martyrs, and the love of Christ entered her heart, and she went about seeking to become a martyr. And a wicked governor came to this city, and as soon as he saw her he commanded the soldiers to bring her before him, and he said unto her, “Whence art thou? What is thy name?” And she said, “I am one of the people of Jesus Christ, and my name is Marina.” When the governor saw her grace and her beauty, he could not restrain himself, and he persuaded her with many words to consent to his wish.

When she cursed him, and reviled his gods, he commanded the soldiers to beat her with iron rods, and to cut off her limbs, and to scrape her body until her blood flowed like water, and he also commanded them to scrape her members with an iron scraper, [and they did so]; but when Saint Marina prayed to God, Michael the Archangel came and healed her. And the governor commanded them to take her into a prison house, which was filled with darkness, and whilst she was praying the Archangel Michael came, and lighted up the prison house, and took her up into heaven, where he showed her the dwelling of the saints and the righteous, and then he brought her back to her place.

On the following day the governor commanded the soldiers to scrape her with an iron scraper, and to slit her body with butchers’ knives, and to cast her into prison; and Saint Michael came and healed her. And whilst she was standing up praying, a huge and most terrifying serpent came forth from this prison, and when she saw it she was frightened and her whole body trembled, and she could not speak. And the serpent swallowed her up, her hands being extended in the form of a cross, and she was praying in her heart. There upon the belly of the serpent was split open, and Marina went forth from him uninjured, and she gave thanks to God. And when she turned towards the prison house, she saw Satan seated, and he was in the form of a black man, with his hands clutching his knees. And having made the sign of the Cross over her face, she seized him by the hair of his head, and beat him with a rod severely.

St. Marina Crushing the Devil

And then there was revealed unto her the wood of the Cross of Jesus Christ, and a white dove was sitting upon it, and it spoke, saying, “Rejoice, O Marina, for there is committed to thee the pledge of the grace of the Holy Spirit.”

And on the following day the governor commanded the soldiers to strip her naked, and to hang her up, head downwards, and to burn her body with fire, and to cast her into a cauldron of boiling water; [and they did so]. And as she was standing up in the cauldron and praying, a dove came down from heaven, and he had in his beak a crown of gold, and he loosed her fetters, and dipped her in the water thrice, in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and she went forth from the water praising God. And when the governor saw that she was still alive he commanded them to cut off her head with the sword. And when she had come into the place of martyrdom she prayed to God that He would receive her soul in peace. And our Lord Jesus Christ came unto her, and gave her a promise that He would forgive the sins of everyone who should call upon her name, or write the history of her strife, or have it read, or should hear it read; and then the soldiers cut off her head with the sword. And many miracles became manifest [through her], the blind saw, the lame walked, the deaf heard, and the dumb spoke; and countless folk believed on our Lord Jesus Christ.

Salutation to St. Marina. May her prayers and intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.


Source: The Ethiopian Synaxarium


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