Friday, September 26, 2014


St. Martinian

Martinian the Hermit
Also known as Martinian of Caesarea
Feast day: February 13

 Died . 400.

Hermit of Caesarea, in Palestine. He started his life as a recluse on a site called the Place of the Ark at eighteen. Zoe, a woman of evil reputation, came upon him and tried to seduce him. Martinian not only resisted her advances by putting his feet in a fire, but converted her and counseled her to become a nun at Bethlehem. Martinian was quite elderly when he went to Athens, where he died.

Recluse near Caesarea, Palestine, who put his feet in the fire and another time jumped into the sea to escape from the so-called weaker sex.  Martinianus retired to the 'place of the Ark' near his hometown of Caesarea when he was about 18. He lived for 25 years among holy solitaries practicing penance and the virtues, and manifesting the gift of miracles.

 The harlot Zoe, hearing of his sanctity and inspired by the devil, determined to pervert him. She pretended to be a poor woman, lost and helpless in the desert late at night, and prevailed upon
Martinianus to allow her to spend the night with him in his cell. About dawn she tossed aside her beggar's rags and donned her city finery. Zoe told him that she offered herself and all her wealth
and estates to him. She also appealed to the Old Testament saints who were wealthy and married, and urged him to abandon his purpose.  It seems that Martinianus may have assented in his heart for he
did not send her away immediately. He was expecting certain people to call upon him for a blessing and instructions but told her to wait. He intended to dismiss his guests, but was touched with
remorse. Returning speedily to his cell he built a fire and stuck his feet into it. Hearing his scream of pain, Zoe ran to him. "If I cannot bear this weak fire, how can I endure the fire of hell?"

 This example excited Zoe to sentiments of grief and repentance. She asked Martinianus's help in finding the way to salvation. Thus, she entered the convent of Saint Paula in Bethlehem, where she
lived in continual penance, lying on the floor and consuming only bread and water.

 It took nearly 7 months for Martinianus's legs to heal. When he was able to rise from the ground, he retired to a rock surrounded by water on every side to be secure from the approach of danger and
all occasion of sin. Here he lived exposed to the elements and seeing no one except a boatman who brought him supplies twice annually.

 After six years on the rock, he one day spied a ship wrecked at the bottom of his rock. All on board had perished except for one girl, who cried out for help. He rescued her but, fearing temptation of living alone with her for two months until the boatman came again, resolved to leave her and his provisions. She freely chose to live out her days on the rock in imitation of

 He threw himself into the sea to shun all danger of sin, swam to the mainland, and travelled through many deserts to reach Athens, where he lived out the rest of his life.  Martinianus's name does not appear in the R.M., but does occur in the Greek Menaea. 

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