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St. Mina the Wonder-Worker

The Coptic Orthodox Christian Church commemorates the lives of the saints in Her Tradition through the Divine Liturgy, the praises services, the Difnar, and the Synexarium. The commemoration of the saints is important in the Orthodox Church because the saints reflected Christ’s light in the world. Many Orthodox believers develop a personal relationship with one or more saints who become their intercessor throughout their lives.

One of the most popular saints in the Coptic Orthodox tradition is Saint Mina (or Menas) the Wonderworker and Martyr. The celebrate the feast of his martyrdom on Hator 15 (November 24) and the consecration of his church in Mariot, Egypt on Paona 15 (June 22). He was a gift to his mother, who went to the church weeping on the feast of St. Mary, praying in front of her icon about a child. She heard a voice come out from the icon, “Amen.” The mother told the story to the father, and soon enough they were blessed with a boy: They called his name “Mina” after the word “Amen.”

St. Mina was raised in a Christian home, and he was very well rooted in Christianity. At the age of 11 and 14, his father and mother departed, respectively. He devoted his life to fasting, praying, and living a Christian life. Since he was loved by many, he was placed in his father’s position in service; nevertheless, he never neglected his worship.

Diocletian ordered the worship of idols and the ban of Christianity; thus, St. Mina left his position and went to the desert, staying many days to worship God. God opened his eyes, so he saw heaven open with many martyrs crowned, and he heard a voice saying “He who toils for the Name of the Lord Christ shall receive these crowns.” Immediately, he went back to his city, confessing his faith. Of course, the governor tried to bride him, but when that did not work, the governor tried to threaten him, but as always that failed. Lastly, the governor “ordered his head to be cut off with the sword, his body to be cast in the fire and his ashes to be scattered in the wind. The body remained in the fire for three days and three nights, but it was not harmed.”

St. Mina’s sister came to collect the body; she collected it as he had advised her. She paid a sum of money to the soldiers, so they can let her take the body. St. Mina’s sister took the body back to Alexandria. On the way, the ship was attacked by beasts from the sea. The passengers were frightened, but the saint’s sister prayed to God, asking for the intercession of her brother: Fire came out from his body, attacking the beasts. The beasts eventually went away because they kept getting attacked.

The patriarch and the rest of the people received the body very honorably, and they shrouded it. After the time of persecutions, the angel of the Lord commanded the patriarch of the time (Pope Athanasius the Apostolic) to place the body of St. Mina on a camel, leaving it unguided out of the city. The pope was instructed to follow it until it stops, and where it stops would be the place the Lord chose for St. Mina’s burial. The camel stopped at Lake Bakayad, in Mariout. A voice was heard indicating that this was the place. Indeed, the saint was buried there. Many miracles have happened through his intercessions.

A war arose between Alexandria and a few other cities. The governor of Alexandria took the body of St. Mina secretly, so he may gain his blessings. God blessed the governor’s efforts, and Alexandria won the war. On their return journey, the governor decided to take the body of St. Mina back to alexandria. Marriout was on their way: The camel carrying the body of St. Mina stopped at the original burial site, and would not move. The governor finally realized that this was the place God had intended for His saint’s body to be placed.

The place where this saint was buried had a church built over it, and became a monastery. The monastery’s website is http://www.stmina-monastery.org

There are many miracles that have been cited in the Coptic Synexarium (http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/3_15.html#1 and http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/10_15.html#2)

Also, many other churches have included St. Mina in their equivalent of the Synexarium. (http://www.stmina-monastery.org/inotherchurches.htm).

H.G. Bishop Youssef wrote an article, “Blessed with the Gift of Healing” on St. Mina’s gifts (http://www.stminahamilton.ca/2010/06/st-mina-blessed-with-the-gift-of-healing/)

May this Saint’s prayers and intercessions be with us all. Amen.

— Source: click here.

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