If a Man Shall Gain the World
The Saint Abba Mina
He Gave His Soul Unto Death
Wherefore our Savior
Hail to You O Martyr
Pray to the Lord on our Behalf
His mother Euphemia had no children. One day she went to Church on the festival of the Virgin St. Mary, the Mother of God, at Attribes. She saw the children in the church wearing their beautiful apparels with their parents. She heaved a sigh and wept before the icon of St. Mary, entreating her to intercede before her beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in order that He would give her a son. A voice came from the icon saying, “Amen.” She rejoiced in what she had heard and realized that the Lord had heard her prayers. When she returned home and told her husband, he replied, “May God’s will be done.”
The Lord gave them a son, whom they called Mina, according to the voice that his mother heard. When he was growing up, his parents taught him how to write and they reared him in a Christian manner. When he was eleven years old, his father departed. Then his mother departed three years later. St. Mina devoted his life to fasting and prayer, striving to live a good Christian life. Because of everyone’s love towards him and his father, they placed him in his father’s position of governor. But despite his position, he did not forsake his worshipping.
When Emperor Diocletan issued orders demanding the worship of idols, many were martyred for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and refused to worship idols. St. Mina left his position as Governor and went to the desert, where he stayed many days, worshipping God with all his heart.
One day he saw the heavens open and the martyrs crowned with beautiful crowns. He heard a voice saying “He who toils for the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall receive these crowns.” He then returned to the city over which he was governor and confessed the name of the Lord Jesus 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 from his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he sent him to his brother so that he might influence him but he failed also. Finally, he ordered his head to be cut off with the sword. The body remained in the fire for three days and three nights, but it was not harmed. St. Mina’s sister came 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. When the ship arrived at the city, many people came out with the Pope of the Coptic Church. They 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.
When the time of persecution ended, the angel of the Lord appeared to the honorable Pope Athansius. The angel informed him of the Lord’s command which was to place the body of St. Mina on a camel and to take it out of the city without letting anyone lead it, but rather to follow it from a distance until to stopped at a place that the Lord had designated. They walked behind the camel until they arrived at a place called Lake Bayad, 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 and placed it in a coffin, then they situated it in a beautiful garden and many miracles happened through the body.
Afterwards, the people of Pentapolis rose against the cities around Alexandria. The people were getting ready to face those barbarians and the governor decided to take the body of St. Mina with him to be his deliverer and his strong protector. He took the body secretly and through the blessings of this Saint, he overcame the barbers and returned victorious. The governor decided not to return the body of the Saint to its original place and wanted to take it to Alexandria. On the way back, they passed by Lake Bayad, St. Mina’s original resting place. The camel carrying the body knelt down and did not move from its place, in spite of frequent beatings. They moved the body to another camel, but again this second camel did not move from its place. The governor finally realized that this was the Lord’s command. He made a coffin from decay-resistant wood and placed the silver coffin in it. He then returned it to its place and invoked St. Mina’s blessings, then returned to his city.
Now the body of this saint was hidden, and the Lord wished to reveal it. It came to pass that there was a shepherd, who pastured the place where the body of the saint was buried. One day, one of his sheep, which was sick of a skin disease (mangy), dipped itself in the water of a pond which was near that place. It then went out of the water, and rolled itself in the sand of that place, and it healed straightway. When the shepherd saw this wonder, he marveled, and took the sand of that place and mixed it with the water of the pond. He smeared every mangy sheep, or any that had a deformity, and they were healed immediately.
The report of this shepherd became widespread in all regions of the empire, until the emperor of Constantinople heard of it. He had an only daughter who was leprous. Her father sent her there. She questioned the shepherd about how she could get rid of her illness, and he told her. She took some of that and mixed it with the water. She retired to her quarters and smeared her body with the mixture and slept that night in that place. She saw in a dream St. Mina and he told her, “Rise up early and dig in this place and you shall find my body.” When she woke up from her sleep, she found herself healed. She dug in that place, and she found the holy body. She sent to her father to inform him about what happened. He rejoiced exceedingly, thanked God and praised His Holy Name. He sent men and money and built a church in that place which was consecrated on this day.
Taken from the Coptic Synixarium, the Coptic Book of Martyrs and Church History. The Synixar was written by the early Church fathers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in order to record significant events and people who witnessed Jesus Christ throughout Coptic History. The edition used in this website was printed by St. Mark and St. Bishoy Coptic Church of Hinsdale, Illinois, and was edited by Fr. Shenouda Anba Bishoy in 1987.