Bulgarian Orthodox Honor St Marina
The Orthodox world, including the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, mark Wednesday the Day of Saint Marina.
According to the Golden Legend, she was a native of Antioch, daughter of a pagan priest named Aedesius. Marina was scorned by her father for her Christian faith, and lived in the country with a foster-mother keeping sheep. Olybrius, the praeses orientis (Governor of the Roman Diocese of the East), offered her marriage at the price of her renunciation of Christianity. Upon her refusal, she was cruelly tortured, during which various miraculous incidents occurred. One of these involved being swallowed by Satan in the shape of a dragon, from which she escaped alive when the cross she carried irritated the dragon's entrails. The Golden Legend, in an atypical moment of skepticism, describes this last incident as "apocryphal and not to be taken seriously" (trans. Ryan, 1.369). Marina was sentenced to death and murdered in 304 A.D. 304.
St. Marina is a very popular and honored Saint by Bulgarians – it is said that she is the patron of health and visits the dreams of people, who believe in her to give them predictions about their future and advice how to avoid illness and bad fortune.
St. Marina is also considered to be the patron of waters and the protector of the Southern Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria. This is why July 17th is also the Day of the southern Black Sea town of Sozopol.
In Bulgaria, July 17 is also the name day of women called Marina and Marinka, and men called Marin and Marincho.
Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit donated Wednesday a particle of St. Marina's relics to the St. Marina monastery on the village of Kran Varbovka near the Danube city of Ruse.
A former Ruse metropolitan, Neofit remained true to the tradition to visit in person the monastery on this day.
He bestowed the relic in person and led the liturgy, becoming the first Patriarch to do so in the entire history of the priory.
The relic is a gift given to the Nevrokopol metropolitan Natanail by the Cyprus Christian Orthodox Church.
Hundreds from all across northern Bulgaria and from Romania gathered for the liturgy to light a candle and wash their faces with the "miracle water" of the local spring, which has been recently connected through pipes with fountains in the monastery's yard.
The stories tell that the waters have healed a blind child and returned speech to another small boy, who had become mute as result of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The relics will be transported to Ruse for temporary safekeeping until the repairs of the monastery and its church conclude.