St. Menas the Holy Martyr
How can St. Menas intercede for us?
St. Menas has quickly come to the aid of many. There are stories of him literally building a man back together who was just murdered and chopped to pieces, protecting a young woman from her captor, healing the sick, standing along side the North African troops in World War II, and allowing people to almost immediately realize their mistakes and confess. People pray for his intercessions in times of distress, when searching for lost things, in times of sickness, and in need of quickly answered prayers.
A certain priest once advised, when discussing St. Menas, “Be ready for what you pray to St. Menas for, it may come quicker than you expect”
The Life of St. Menas
Born in Egypt, St. Menas served in the army of the tribune near Kotyaeion. At this time the emperors Diocletian and Maximian issued a decree that all Christians unwilling to worship idols were to be tortured. Menas, unable to bear the sight of this, left the army and fled to the wilderness. He wandered, studying, praying, fasting, and serving God, day and night.
After much time passed there was a great feast of the demons to be celebrated in the city of Kotyaeion. In the arena here, they were to play games celebrating the demons. Menas was inflamed with zeal for God, returned to this city, and entered the arena.
Where all who had gathered could see him, he shouted, “I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me”. The crowd stared at him and fell silent. they were amazed at his boldness.
The Prince who governed the city, Pyrrhus, ordered for him to be seized and asked him who he was. The Martyr Menas replied, “I am the servant of Jesus Christ, Who rules over heaven and earth!”
Some of the troops recognized him as a soldier who served under the tribune of Firmilian. He was seen as a traitor and was thrown into prison.
Over the next days, he was tortured by being stretched from his limbs with leather straps, suspended from a tree, scraped with iron claws, seared with burning candles, and dragged across nails. All the while, they were mocking him and imploring him to worship the false idols for just a few minutes, and it would all be over with. Yet, for each form of torture, Menas responded with a call upon God and fitting scripture to face each tribulation. He was beheaded and burnt but the faithful gathered the relics of him that remained and brought them to Alexandria where a church was later dedicated to him and since then many miracles have happened there.
Feast Day: November 11th
Adapted from “The Great Collection of The Lives of the Saints: November“
- When faced with more physical pain than many will be asked to endure, how did Menas respond? How do we respond to pain and struggle in our own lives? How can we learn from St. Menas?
- St. Menas proclaimed his Faith boldly as the people observed. Earlier in his life, he left the army when he saw Christians being persecuted. Why did Holy Martyr Menas leave and return boldy when he did? How do we determine the times when we must be bold and when we must leave?
- Saints work in different ways. St. Menas and St. Phanourios may work quickly when called upon for their intercessions. Many saints have different relationships with us and different ways of interceding in our lives. Why is this significant?
Learn his Troparion
“With great valour of soul, thou didst strive in martyrdom, and having fought the good fight, O divine Great Martyr Menas, thou from Heaven hast received the gift of miracles; for God hath shown thee to the world as a worker of great signs, and He made thee our protector and a swift help in afflictions and ever vigilant defense from harm.” (Tone 1)
Pray to him
The entire world has found you to be a great champion when in grave perils; for many you have saved from losses: tracking the thieves‚ driving away deprivations and fulfilling the requests of those that run to you in faith; for these we pray to you‚ be merciful to us who sing to you: Rejoice‚ O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.
The Word of God enlightened the world by His incarnation‚ and through Him sprung forth the multitude of the martyrs which spilled their blood in great sufferings‚ making themselves protectors of those in need; for this we sing to you:
Rejoice‚ unwaning star. Rejoice‚ ray of immaterial fire. Rejoice‚ the light of those at loss. Rejoice‚ the revealer of the kidnappers. Rejoice‚ the mystery that exposes the wicked deeds. Rejoice‚ the dam that stops the drifting.
Rejoice‚ the pillar that hinders the rudeness. Rejoice‚ the depth that loses the gluttony. Rejoice‚ the breath that strengthens the hearts of those in suffering. Rejoice‚ the hand that discovers the lootings. Rejoice‚ the chain that bonds the lawless. Rejoice‚ the fog that clouds the unclean thoughts.
Rejoice‚ O Holy Martyr Menas the great passion bearer.
From “The Akathyst of the Holy Martyr Menas the Wonderworker“
St. Mary of Egypt