Saint Icons: The Great-Martyr Marina of Antioch

Saint Icons: The Great-Martyr Marina of Antioch

On July 30, the Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates Saint Marina of Antioch, also known as Saint Margaret of Antioch. She was martyred around the year 304 and now is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and Great Martyrs in the Christian Church. Saint icons depicting the important religious figures who suffered in the name of God have always been highly revered by the believers, and icons of Saint Marina are no exception. Read on to learn about Marina’s life and the way she is depicted in religious icons. 

The life of the Great-Martyr Marina of Antioch

Saint Marina was born into a family of pagans. The girl lost her mother at an early age and was brought up by a nurse who taught her the Christian faith. At about the age of 12, Marina was baptized. It all happened in Antioch, at a time of brutal persecution of Christians, ordered by Emperor Diocletian. However, despite the harsh reality, the girl made no secret of her faith and was soon disowned by her pagan father.

When she was 15 years old, the governor of the Eastern Diocese wanted to marry Marina, requiring her to renounce her Christian religion. Marina refused and was subjected to terrible suffering. Nails were driven into the girl’s body, she was burned with fire and whipped with rods, but each time, her wounds were healed. According to the legend, when her tormentors drowned Marina in a barrel, the fetters miraculously fell from her hands, and a bright light came down from heaven, with a dove carrying a golden crown in its beak. By seeing that, the astonished people began to pray to God. Marina, however, was ordered to be executed. Many people who started to believe in Christ after the miracles that had happened to Saint Marina during her torture died with her that day. 

Saint icons: the Great-Martyr Marina of Antioch

Saint icons often depict the great martyrs with the implements they were tortured. Saint Marina, however, holds only a cross, a reminder of her and Jesus Christ’s suffering. With her other hand, the great martyr usually blesses those praying to God.

Some icons depict the devil in the form of a dragon standing next to Saint Marina. According to the legend, while she was tortured, the devil tried to seduce her.

Saint icons depicting the great martyrs are highly revered relics in Christianity. They remind people of the severe suffering that many saints had to endure in the name of faith and Christ.