Commemorated on November 11th
St Menas of Egypt
Holy Great Martyr Menas of Egypt was a military officer and served in the Kotyaeion region of Phrygia under the centurion Firmilian during the reign of the emperors Diocletian (284-305 AD) and Maximian (305-311 AD). When the emperors began the fiercest persecution against Christians in history, the Saint refused to serve these persecutors. He removed his soldier's belt (a sign of military rank) and withdrew to a mountain, where he lived an ascetic life of fasting and prayer.
Once he arrived in the city during a pagan festival. At the climax of the games, the Saint's accusing voice rang out, preaching faith in Christ, the Saviour of the world. At his trial before the prefect Pyrrhus, the Saint bravely confessed his faith, saying that he had come to denounce the impious. The prefect was angered, and had St Menas arrested.
Pyrrhus offered to restore the Saint's former rank if he would offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. When he refused, he cruelly tortured, and then beheaded. This occurred in the year 304 AD. Christians gathered up the martyr's relics by night and hid them until the end of the persecution. Later, they were brought to Egypt and placed in a church dedicated to St Menas southwest of Alexandria.
The Saint received grace from God to work miracles, and to help those in need. St Menas is noted for healing various illnesses, delivering people from possession by demons, and as a protector, especially during times of war. We also ask his help in finding lost objects.
Plagal of the Fourth Tone
With great valour of soul, you strived in martyrdom and having fought the good fight, O divine Great Martyr Menas, you received the gift of miracles from heaven; for God has shown you to the world as a worker of great signs, and He made you our protector and a swift help in afflictions and ever-vigilant defence from harm.
Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
As godly-minded athletes and Martyrs who strove for piety, the Church honours and glorifies this day the godly contests and travails of Menas the prizewinner, noble Victor, brave Vincent, and valiant Stephanie, and lovingly cry out and glorify Christ, the Friend of man.