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Sts. Marinus and Astyrius

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Death: ~262

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Marinus, a Roman army officer of Caesarea, Palestine (near Hadera, Israel), was to be raised to the rank of centurion when a rival intervened. The latter disclosed that Marinus was a Christian, unwilling to offer sacrifice to the emperor, and thus unsuited to promotion. The revelation led to Marinus being summoned before the governor. Upon hearing Marinus profess his Christian faith, the governor sent him away with a three-hour deadline to reconsider his religious profession or face the consequences. As Marinus went out, he met the bishop Theotecnus, who took him to a nearby church. Bringing Marinus near the altar, Theotecnus pointed to the officer's sword, and then to the Gospel book, instructing him to choose between the two. Immediately Marinus reached for the Gospels. The bishop declared, "Hold fast then to God, that, strengthened by him, you may obtain what you have chosen. Go in peace." Marinus was soon beheaded. Upon witnessing Marinus' martyrdom, Astyrius, a Roman senator, took off his own cloak to wrap Marinus' body, and carried it on his shoulders to bury it honorably. For this act of charity, Astyrius was also executed.

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