St. Mina the Miraculous
The Great Egyptian Christian Martyr
Saint Mina is considered among the most well-known saints in both the East and the West, due to the many miracles that are performed through his prayers for us. Saint Mina was born in Egypt in the year 285, in the city of Niceous which lies in the vicinity of Memphis. His parents were true ascetic Christians named Audexios and Aufimia. On the feast of St. Mary, Aufimia (who had not been blessed with any children) was praying with tears in front of the Icon of the Virgin that God may give her a blessed son. A sound came to her ears saying, "Amen" and thus she called her son Mina. His father, a ruler of one of the administrative divisions in Egypt, died when Mina was fourteen years old. At fifteen, Mina joined the army and because of his father’s reputation, he was given a high ranking and appointed to Algeria. Three years later, he left the army longing to devote his whole life for Christ. He headed towards the desert to live a different kind of life. After he spent five years as a hermit, Mina saw the angels crowning the martyrs with glamorous crowns and he longed to join them. While he was thinking about it, he heard a voice saying: "Blessed are you Abba Mina, because you have been called for the pious life from your childhood. You shall be granted three immortal crowns; one because of your celibacy, the second because of your asceticism and the third because of your martyrdom." Immediately he felt as if the earth under him was vanishing, and he was overwhelmed with great eagerness to be carried away to heavens. In a mood of valour he hurried to the ruler, declaring his Christian faith. His endless sufferings and the tortures that he endured attracted many of the pagans not only to Christianity, but also to martyrdom.
St. Mina’s Relics
St. Mina’s assassins tried to burn his relics but they failed, so the believers loaded his body on a camel and headed towards the western desert. At a certain spot, the camel stopped and the people could not force it to continue its trip by any means. The people buried the body of St. Mina near a water well (that place is his present monastery at the end of Marriout Lake, not far from Alexandria).
The Discovery of St. Mina’s Body
It happened that while a shepherd was feeding his sheep in that area, a sick lamb fell upon the ground. As it struggled to rise to its feet, the sheep’s scab was cured. The story was quickly spread and the sick who came upon this spot recovered from whatever illnesses they had, just by laying on the ground. During that time, the daughter of King Zinon, the Christ-lover, caught leprosy. His advisor’s suggested that she should try that place, and she did. At night, St. Mina appeared to the girl and informed her that his body was buried in that place. The following morning, she bathed in the well and was healed. She related her vision about St. Mina to her servants and how he had cured her.St. Mina in Marriout Immediately, King Zinon ordered St. Mina’s body to be dug out, and a church to be built in that place. He also ordered a large city to be built and named in honor of St. Mina. Sick people from all over the world used to visit that city and were healed by the intercession of St. Mina, the miracle-maker.