The Life of St. Mina the Wonder Worker, from the Synaxarium
St. Mina’s father Eudoxius was a native of the city of Nakiyos and was its governor. His brother was envious of Eudoxius and he brought charges against him before the emperor. The emperor transferred him to Afrikia and appointed him governor over it. The people were pleased with him because he was merciful and God-fearing.
His mother Euphemia had no children. One day she went to church on a festival of St. Mary at Attribes. She saw the children in the church wearing beautiful clothes with their parents. She heaved a sigh and wept before the icon of St. Mary entreating her to intercede before her in front of her beloved Son in order to give her a son. A voice came from the icon saying “Amen.” She rejoiced at what she had heard and realized that the Lord had heard her prayers. Then she returned to her home and told her husband about it. He replied, “May God’s will be done.”
The Lord gave them a son in the year 285, and they named him Mina, according to the voice his mother heard. As he grew up, his parents taught him to write and reared him in a Christian manner. When he was eleven years old, his father died. Then his mother died three years later.
St. Mina devoted his life to fasting, praying, and living a Christian life while holding a position in the army. Because of everyone’s love towards him and his father, they placed him in his father’s position. In spite of that, he did not forsake his worshiping. When Diocletian had reneged Christianity and issued his order to worship idols, many were martyred for the name of Christ. This saint left his position and went to the desert, where he stayed many days worshipping God with all heart.
One day he saw the heavens open and the martyred crowned with beautiful crowns. He heard a voice saying, “He who toils for the name of the Lord Christ shall receive these crowns. Blessed are you, Abba Mina, because you have been called for the pious life from your childhood. You shall be granted three crowns; one for you celibacy, the second for your chastity, and the third because you will be martyred.” He then returned to the city over which he was governor and confessed Christ. Knowing that he belonged to a noble family, they tried to dissuade him from his faith and promised him honors and precious gifts. When he did not change his mind, they threatened him and the governor ordered him to be tortured. When the governor failed to turn him away from his faith, he sent hi m to his brother so that he might influence him but he failed also. Finally, he ordered his head to b cut off by a sword. His body to be cast into a fire, and his ashes to be scattered in the wind. The body remained in the fire three days and nights but it was not harmed.
The sister cam and gave the soldiers money and they let her take the body. She put it in a sack made of fronds and decided to go to Alexandria as her brother had previously advised her. She embarked with her brother’s body on one of the ships to Alexandria. During their trip, sea beasts came out of the water and attacked the passengers. They were frightened and screamed with fear. The sister prayed to the Lord and asked that her brother intercede. While the passengers feared, fire went forth from her brother’s body and burned the beasts, who dived into the water, and as they reappeared, the fire burned them again. They finally dived and did not reappear.
When the ship arrived at Alexandria, most of the people went out with the patriarch, and carried the sacred body with respect and honor and entered the city with a venerable celebration and placed it in the church after they shrouded it in expensive shroud.
When the time of persecutions ended, the angel of the Lord appeared to St. Athanasius and informed him of the Lord’s command, which was to place the body of St. Mina on a camel and take it out of the city without any of the people leading it, but to follow it from a distance until it stopped at a place that the Lord designed. They walked behind the camel until they reached a place called Lake Bayed in the district of Marriot. There they heard a voice saying, “This is the place where the Lord wishes the body of his beloved Mina to be placed.” They lowered the body, placed it in the coffin, and situated it in a beautiful garden and many miracles happened through the body.
Then the people of Pentapolis rose against the cities around Alexandria. The people were getting ready to face those barbarians. The governor decided to take the body of St. Mina with him to be his deliverer and his strong protector and took the body secretly. Through the blessing of the saint, he overcame the Barbers and became victorious. The governor decided not to return the body of the saint to its original place, for he wanted to take it to Alexandria. On the way back, they passed the Lake Bayed, St. Mina’s original place. The camel carrying the body knelt down and did not move from this place despite beatings. They moved the body to another camel but again this second camel did not move from this place. The governor finally realized that this was the Lord’s command. He made a coffin from decay-resistance wood and placed the silver coffin in it. He then returned it to its place and invoked St. Mina’s blessing, then returned to his city.
When the Lord wanted to disclose the location of the saint’s holy body, he did it in this manner. There was s shepherd in the desert. One day, a sheep with mange slipped down into the water of a well near the place of the saint’s body. The sheep then cam out of the water and rolled over in the sand of that place, instantly healed. When the shepherd saw this miracle, he was amazed. He started to mix the sand with the water and smeared it over every manged sheep as well as those with other infirmities, and they were healed.
The news of these miracles spread all over different countries until Emperor Constantine heard it. He had an only daughter who was leprous. The father sent her to the place where the saint’s body was and asked the shepherd how theses miracles were happening. When she knew she took of the sand, moistened it with water, smeared it on her body, and spent the night in that place. In her sleep, she saw St. Mina saying to her, “Arise early and dig in this place. You will find my body.” When she wok up she found herself cured, and began digging as she as told until she found the holy body. She sent word to her father informing him of the news. He rejoiced exceedingly, thanked the Lord, glorifying his name. He then sent man and money and built a church in that place, and it was consecrated on the 15th of Baounah.
When Arcadius and Honoius, they ordered a city to be built there. Multitudes of people came to that church asking of the intercession of the blessed St. Mina. The Lord had honored him with many signs and wonders that appeared from his pure body. When the Arabs came to Egypt, some of them attacked the city and the church was destroyed; only ruins remained.
When Pope Kyrillos VI was consecrated patriarch over the See of St. Mark, he took an interest in this area Marriot in the name of St. Mina. He spent a great deal of money establishing it. There are two churches in this monastery. He also bought 100 acres of land and built a fence around it, ordaining some monks there.