Menas the Most Eloquent

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The holy, glorious and right-victorious Martyr Menas the Most Eloquent or Menas of Alexandria (Gr Μηνάς ο Καλλικέλαδος), suffered for Christ together with Hermogenes, and Eugraphus under the emperor Maximian (305-313). The Church commemorates these martyrs on December 10.

St Menas was sent by the emperor from Athens to Alexandria to suppress the riots that had arisen between the Christians and the pagans. Distinguished for his military skill and his gift of eloquence, Menas instead openly began to preach the Christian Faith and he converted many pagans to Christ. Learning of this, Maximian sent Hermogenes to Alexandria to place the saints on trial. Moreover, he gave orders to purge the city of Christians.

Hermogenes, although he was a pagan, was distinguished by his reverent bearing. And struck by the endurance of St Menas under torture and by his miraculous healing after the cruel torments, he also came to believe in Christ. Maximian himself then arrived in Alexandria. Neither the astonishing stoic endurance of Sts Menas and Hermogenes under torture, nor even the miracles manifested by God in this city, mollified the emperor. Instead, they vexed him all the more. The emperor personally stabbed St Eugraphus, the secretary of St Menas, and then gave orders to behead the holy Martyrs Menas and Hermogenes.

The relics of the holy martyrs, cast into the sea in an iron chest, were afterwards found and transferred to Constantinople in the ninth century. The translation of the holy relics of the martyrs is celebrated on February 17. The emperor Justinian built a church in the name of the holy Martyr Menas of Alexandria. St Joseph the Hymnographer composed a canon in honor of these holy martyrs.


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