Saint Marina the Great Martyr of Antioch

Saint Marina the Great Martyr of Antioch

Saint Marina the Great Martyr of Antioch is an Orthodox saint. The Church honors her memory on the 30th of July.

Saint Marina the Great Martyr of Antioch. Hagiography

Saint Marina was born in a pagan family in Antioch on the territory of modern Turkey. At an early age, she lost her mother and was brought up by a wet nurse as a good Christian. During the persecution of Christians in the reign of Emperor Diocletian, when the girl was 15 years old, she was imprisoned. The governor Olimvriy persuaded her to abdicate Christianity and marry him. However, Marina was strong in her faith and overcame all torments with dignity. According to legends, the girl was tempted by the evil in her prison, but she repelled all suppressions steadfastly. God healed all Marina’s wounds for the strength of her faith, after which people began praising the Lord for miracles. Many people believed in Him. Olimvriy was furious and sent Marina to the execution.

Saint Marina killing the devilIconography

The earliest images of Saint Marina date from the 8-9th centuries. The saint is depicted half-length, full-length, or similarly to the iconographic type of the image of the Mother of God “Oranta.” These can be hagiography icons or plot icons that show Marina defeating the devil with a hammer.

The image of Marina can also be seen in the icons and frescoes depicting selected saints. One good example is the fresco in the Church of the Virgin Mary in Moutoullas (Cyprus), which dates from 1280. St. Marina in the fresco is depicted with St. Paraskeva, St. Anastasia, St. Varvara, St. Kiriakiya, and St. Mammes of Caesarea.

The Great Martyr is usually shown as a young girl, in a blue, dark-blue, or green tunic and a red maphorion. She holds a cross in her right hand and a scroll with Scripture in her left hand. Instead of the scroll, she may also hold a devil by the horn. Besides, there are icons where the saint is depicted in white clothes, with hair leading down out of maphorion on shoulders.


Saint Marina is especially venerated in the territories close to her homeland: Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and Bulgaria. After the execution, the body of the Great Martyr was kept in a specially built tomb in the house of the Antioch senator. Parts of it were subsequently transported to Constantinople, Athos monasteries, and the cities of modern Italy (Venice), Georgia (Zugdidi), and Russia (Moscow).

It is believed that prayer with the icon of St. Marina or her relics can cure mental illness and protect from devil snares.