Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 November – Saint Mennas (Died c 300) Marty

Saint of the Day – 11 November – Saint Mennas (Died c 300) Martyr, Layman, Miracle-worker, Soldier, he may have been a camel driver and merchant, hermit. Born in Egypt and died by beheading in c 300 at Cotyaes, Phrygia, under Emperor Diocletian. He was one of the most popular saints in the early Eastern Church. Patronages – falsely accused people, physical ailments, peddlers, pilgrims, travelling merchants. Also known as – • Aba Mina• Menas of Egypt• Menas of Constantinople• Menas of Cotyaes• Menas of Cotyaeum• Menas of Kotyaeum• Menas of Mareotis• Menas the Martyr• Menas the Miracle Maker• Menas the Miracle Worker• Menas the Soldier• Menas the Wonder Worker• Mena, Mennas, Mina, Minas.

The Roman Martyrology reads: “At Cotyaeus, in Phrygia, during the persecution of Diocletian, the celebrated Martyrdome of St Mennas, Egyptian soldier, who cast off the military belt and obtained the grace of serving the King of Heaven, secretly, at first, in the desert. Afterwards, coming out publicly and freely declaring himself a Christian he was first subjected to dire torments and finally, kneeling in prayer and giving thanks to Our Lord Jesus Christ, he was struck with the sword. After his death, he was renowned for many miracles.”

St Mennas by Paolo Veronese

Mennas, a Christian and an Egyptian by birth, served in the Roman army under the tribune Firmilian. When the army came to Cotyaeus in Phrygia, Menas hearing of the impious edicts issued against the Christians by the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, left the army in order to practise his faith in safety and retired to a solitude in the mountains and served God by fasting vigils and prayer.

During the celebration of a great pagan festival Mennas appeared in the midst of the populace in the circus and fearlessly professed his faith. He was led before the Prefect Pyrrhus, cruelly scourged, put to torture and finally beheaded.

The Martyrdom of St Mennas by Paolo Veronese

His body was brought to Egypt and the Martyr was soon invoked in many needs and afflictions. The fame of the miracles wrought, spread far and wide and thousands of pilgrims came to the grave in the desert of Mareotis, between Alexandria and the valley of Natron.

For centuries Bumma was a national sanctuary and grew into a large city with costly temples a holy well and baths. A beautiful Basilica was erected by the Emperor Arcadius. The cult was spread into other countries, perhaps by travelling merchants who honoured him as their Patron.

As a result of various vicissitudes, the doctrinal disputes and the conquest of Egypt by the Arabians under Omar in 641 the sanctuary was neglected and ultimately forgotten.

During 1905 Msgr C M Kaufmann of Frankfort, led an expedition into Egypt which made excavations at Bumma. He found in a vast field of ruins, the grave, the well and thermae (public baths), the Basilica, the Monastery, numerous inscriptions on the walls, imploring aid through the intercession of the Saint and, thousands of little water pitchers and oil lamps. The rich findings are partly in the Museums of Alexandria and Cairo and partly in Frankfort and Berlin. The Monsignor published an official report of his expedition in 1908, (La découverte des Sanctuaires de Menas dans le désert de Mareotis).

Terracotta pilgrim’s water flask impressed with Saint Mennas between two camels, 1000s of which were found by Msgr C M Kaufmann

St Mennas Feast is celebrated today, 11 November.


Nossa Senhora do Português / Our Lady of the Portuguese, India (1546) and Memorials of the Saints – 11 November

Nossa Senhora do Português / Our Lady of the Portuguese, Diu, India (1546) – 11 November:

St Martin of Tours (c 316-397) “Martin the Merciful,” Bishop, Confessor, Miracle-Worker.
Biography here:

St Mennas (Died c 300) Martyr

St Bartholomew of Rossano (c 970-c 1065) Abbot Confessor, Spiritual disciple and friend of St Nilus (910-1005), Hymnist an highly skilled Calligrapher of sacred manuscripts – the art of calligraphy he had learned from his blessed guide and teacher, He is known as the “Second Founder,” of the Monastery of Grottaferrata founded by St Nilus. A copyist of many codices, Bartholomew is also considered the greatest hymnographer of the 11th century.
His Life:

St Bertuin of Malonne
St Cynfran of Wales
St Isidre Costa Hons
Bl Josaphat Chichkov
St Marina of Omura
St Mennas of Santomenna
St Mercurius the Soldier
Bl Pavel Dzjidzjov
St Rhediw
St Theodore the Studite
St Turibius of Palencia
St Veranus of Lyon
St Veranus of Vence