St. Marina

St. Marina
Icon of Saint Marina provided by Theologic

The Apolytikion of St. Marina

O Glorious Marina, once betrothed to the Logos, you relinquished all worldly concerns
and brilliantly gave struggle as a virginal beauty. You soundly trounced the invisible enemy who appeared to you, O Champion,
and you are now the world's wellspring of healing Grace.

The Life of St. Marina

Orphaned by her mother who died in childbirth, Saint Marina’s pagan father entrusted her upbringing to a woman who happened to be a Christian. Living in Antioch in a time when many people still worshipped several gods, Saint Marina’s father was unaware that the woman he selected to be his daughter’s foster mother was a Christian. It is no wonder that by the time Marina matured, so had her love for Jesus Christ. She loved Christ with such passion that she pledged to serve Him with her life, and had no fear in revealing her Christianity to her pagan father. It was a blessing that upon learning of his daughter’s Christian beliefs, Marina’s father made no attempt to prevent her from following Christ. However, her good fortune was about to change.

While walking to church one day, Marina was seen by Olymbrios, a prefect of the province. Olymbrios immediately fell in love with Marina and planned to marry her. In an attempt to win her heart, he began to court her. Marina did not wish to offend the prefect, and, therefore, entertained his visits pleasantly. However, she knew the day soon would arrive when Olymbrios would ask her to marry him, and she hoped he would understand that she already had pledged herself to Christ. On the day when Marina declined Olymbrios’ proposal, he was not offended, nor discouraged. Instead, he granted her more time to reconsider his offer. However, no amount of time would change Marina’s vow to Christ. A few days later Olymbrios returned to ask Marina to accept him to be her husband, and again she politely declined the invitation. It was at this moment that Olymbrios redirected his passion for Marina into vengeance, and set out to make her regret her refusal of him.

Olymbrios charged Marina with treason; she was found guilty and sentenced to a tortuous death. Marina’s naked body was beaten, whipped viciously, and burned with candles. Then he had her thrown in prison with open wounds. While in her prison cell, Marina prayed to God for strength. At once the devil appeared to her in the form of a serpent. Upon seeing him, she made the sign of the cross, and immediately the serpent burst and disappeared. Marina found herself surrounded by divine light, and a radiant cross, topped with a dove, which appeared to her. A voice from the dove told Marina to rejoice, for her "day of rejoicing has arrived." Instantly, her wounds were healed and when Olymbrios called for her again, he subjected her to more torture through boiling water and fire. When surviving this torture as if she was never subjected to it, Marina was sentenced to death by beheading. On July 17, 289, Marina was beheaded, but not before Jesus Christ appeared to her in all His glory. Marina was granted sainthood almost immediately, as many were witnesses to her miraculous survival of torture.

The participants at Ionian Village are blessed with the opportunity to attend Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Marina in Glypha, Greece. While there, they learn of the brave stance St. Marina made for Christ, as well as of the many miracles which have been performed through her.