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Martinian of Palestine

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February 13

Reading:

Saint Martinian, who was from Caesarea of Palestine, flourished about the beginning of the fifth century. He struggled in the wilderness from his youth. After he had passed twenty-five years in asceticism, the devil brought a temptation upon him through a harlot, who when she heard the Saint praised for his virtue, determined to try his virtue, or rather, to undo it. Coming to his cell by night as it rained, and saying she had lost her way, she begged with pitiful cries to be admitted in for the night, lest she fall prey to wild beasts. Moved with compassion, and not wishing to be guilty of her death should anything befall her, he allowed her to enter. When she began to seduce him, and the fire of desire began to burn in his heart, he kindled a fire and stepped into it, burning his body, but saving his soul from the fire of Gehenna. And she, brought to her senses by this, repented, and, following his counsel, went to Bethlehem to a certain virgin named Paula, with whom she lived in fasting and prayer; before her death, she was deemed worthy of the gift of wonder-working. Saint Martinian, when he recovered from the burning, resolved to go to some more solitary place, and took a ship to a certain island, where he struggled in solitude for a number of years. Then a young maiden who had suffered a shipwreck came ashore on his island. Not wishing to fall into temptation again, he departed, and passed his remaining time as a wanderer, coming to the end of his life in Athens.

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Thou didst quench the flame of temptation with the streams of thy tears, O blessed Martinian; and having checked the waves of the sea and the attacks of wild beasts, thou didst cry out: Most glorious art Thou, O Almighty One, Who hast saved me from fire and tempest.

Kontakion in the Second Tone

As is meet, let us praise with hymns the ever-venerable Martinian as a tried ascetic that struggled for piety, as an honorable athlete by deliberate choice, and a resolute citizen and inhabitant of the desert; for he hath trodden upon the serpent.