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Saint Menas was born to a pious Christian ascetic family in Niceous, Egypt near Memphis in a.d. 285. His mother, Euphemia, had prayed before an icon of the Virgin Mary asking for a blessed son, and she heard the reply of “Amen.” Menas, or Mina, is a variant of Amen or Amin. His father, Eudoxius, was a ruler of a district of Egypt with a good reputation, but he died when Saint Menas was only 14 years old. Saint Menas at 15 entered the Roman army, was made an officer because of his father’s reputation, and was sent to Algeria. After three years of serving, he left the army and his position when an order came for him to persecute Christians.
Saint Menas retired to a deserted mountain and became a hermit, praying to God, fasting, and controlling his thoughts and body by God’s grace. After five years he received in a vision that three crowns awaited him, one for asceticism, one for celibacy, and one for martyrdom. He left immediately, after putting on his military attire, to go before the people in the town of Cotyaeum during their pagan festival, stopping the festivities and proclaiming his faith in Christ. He was flayed, burned, and finally beheaded in 309.
|Church Feast Day 1
20th c. (Late)