Wednesday, November 24, 2010

St. Menas the Great-Martyr

Joyous feast!!! St. Menas is one of the great saints and wonderworkers not only of the ancient world, but also of our times. In past times people came from throughout the known world to venerate his relics near Mareotis in Egypt (to the southwest of Alexandria). Gradually the pilgrimages ceased following the Muslim conquest of Egypt and the destruction of the saint's shrine, but following the enthronement of Pope St. Cyril VI of Alexandria (himself a great wonderworker), who loved St. Menas greatly, the monastery that used to stand at the place of the saint's relics was renewed and is now once more a place of pilgrimage because of the miracles worked by St. Menas.

St. Menas was born the only child of devout parents in 285 AD. His father was an administrator in the Roman government in Egypt and when he turned fifteen the saint served for some time in the Roman Army in what was then called Africa or Mauretania, but today is known as Algeria. Becoming dissatisfied with life in the world, St. Menas left the army and returned to Egypt to live as a hermit in the desert. After receiving a vision of his impending martyrdom St. Menas declared his faith before the Roman governor of Egypt and received his crown on 11/24 November 309. A full account of his life can be found here. Accounts of the miracles worked by both St. Menas and St. Cyril the Wonderworker, Pope of Alexandria, can be found here. The relics of both saints rest at Dayr Mar Mina Monastery in Maryut (ancient Mareotis) today.

May the blessings and prayers of the glorious Great-Martyr and Wonderworker Menas be with us all!

Pictured is the cathedral at the restored Coptic Orthodox Monastery of St. Menas, called Dayr Mar Mina today.

No comments:

Post a Comment