Sunday, November 11, 2012

Holy Great-martyr Menas

Today (November 11), in the Life of the Church, we commemorate the Great-martyr Menas of Egypt. St Menas was a Roman soldier who served in the 4th century under the emperors Diocletian and Maximian. When the emperors began the fiercest persecution against Christians in history, the saint refused to serve these persecutors. He removed his soldier's belt (a sign of military rank) and withdrew to a mountain, where he lived an ascetic life of fasting and prayer.

Once he happened to arrive in the city of Alexandria during a pagan festival. At the climax of the games the saint's accusing voice rang out, preaching faith in Christ, the Savior of the world. At his trial before the prefect Pyrrhus, the saint bravely confessed his faith, saying that he had come to denounce the impious. The prefect was angered, and had Menas arrested.
Holy Great-martyr Menas
Image Source

Pyrrhus offered to restore the saint's former rank if he would offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. When he refused, he was put to cruel tortures, then he was beheaded. This occurred in the year 304. Christians gathered up the martyr's relics by night and hid them until the end of the persecution. Later, they were brought to Egypt and placed in a church dedicated to St Menas southwest of
The saint received grace from God to work miracles, and to help those in need. St Menas is noted for healing various illnesses, delivering people from possession by demons, and as a protector, especially during times of war. We also ask his help in finding lost objects.

Life of the Saint taken from OCA Feasts & Saints

The Great-martyr Menas has always been a special saint for intercession for me personally. My maternal grandmother's last name was Meena (hailing from Lebanon via Pittsburgh, PA). I'm sure many others can relate, but I always had a special relationship with my Sito. It's comforting for a grandson to know he could do no wrong in Sito's eyes. She's also the source for my deep faith; she's the one who taught me how to pray, especially turning to the saints for intercession.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love "collecting" Orthodox icons. But, for the longest time, I could never find one of St Menas (until this year - which now hangs in my office).

Through the intercession of the Holy Great-martyr Menas, O Christ our God, have mercy upon us and save us!

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director

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