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   Major Christian Saints, Bishops and Martyrs

Julian of Antioch (M)

Julian of Antioch, or Julian of Anazarbus (his home town near Adana, modern Turkey), is said to have been tied in a sack and thrown into the sea and drowned there. Antioch (modern Antakya, Turkey) claimed to have the relics and St. John Chrysostom of Constantinople preached in his honor there.
 
Justin Martyr (SM)

Justin was a convert from Pagan religion. Later he became one of the most prominent apologists of his times in the 2nd C. Justin was born at Neapolis (Flavia) in Palestine. He was impressed by the Classical philosophy and especially Plato's teachings. After his conversion into Christianity, he tried to spread his new faith in the philosophical schools. He taught at Ephesus and Rome. His works include apologies addressed to the emperor Antoninus Pius and the second one is protesting against the injustice. The third and the longest of his works" Dialogue with Trypho" is about a conversation he had with a Jewish man Trypho, at Ephesus long years ago. This Jew Trypho objected that the Christians broke the Jewish law and began to worship a human being. Justin was martyred at Rome about 165.
 
Lucian of Antioch (M)

Another native of Antioch, he was born at Samosata and martyred at Nicomedia. He was the teacher and head of a Theological school at Antioch. By that time, he revised the Greek version of the Old Testament and also the four gospels. When the emperor Diocletian began persecutions, he was at Nicomedia by chance, he was imprisoned there for nine years to renounce the Lord, upon his refusal, he was killed there and buried at Drepanum a town near Nicomedia.
 
Luke the Evangelist (SM)

He was a gentile, Greek by origin, and a medical man by profession as St. Paul mentions him as "our beloved" Luke the Physician". He was the author of one of the four gospels and co-author of the "Acts of Apostles" with St. Paul. As we know from St. Paul, he accompanied St. Paul on his second journey and third journey, St. Paul in his letter to Timothy says "Luke is my only companion". So, we can be sure that St. Luke has been to Rome and probably wrote his gospel when he was there. Although his death is debated, as some scholars claim that he was martyred in Greece, or some others say he died of natural, but sure when he died he was well over his eighty. An oral tradition says he was imprisoned at Ephesus in a prison called "Luke's Tower" of which the remains are still visible.
 
Macrina the Younger (S)

She was born at Caeserea in Cappadocia in C. 327 and died in the Black Sea area of Turkey C. 379. She comes from a family of strong and long Christian tradition, as we remember, the Church fathers, St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nyssa were her brothers. As she was engaged to a young lawyer, upon her boy friend's early death, she gave herself to her family and influenced her younger brothers Basil and Gregory. Later she moved up to Pontus area to replace her widowed mother St. Emmelia as the head of a little Christian community which she later grew into a large community. Another Macrina referred to as the Elder was her grand mother, who had suffered with her husband during the Galerius' persecutions.
 
Mamas (M)

His birth year is unknown, probably martyred in C. 274. He was a young shepherd when he was stoned to death at Caeserea in Cappadocia region, under the severe persecutions of the emperor Aurelius.
 
Marcellus the Righteous (S)

He was born at Apamea (southeastern Turkey) and died at his monastery near Constantinople C. 485. He became an abbot at the Eirenaion monastery near Constantinople, a monastery famous for the sleepless monks, because their organization allowed them to sing God's praises around the clock. His emphasis on the need for poverty and manual work made his monastery one of the most influential of such houses. He was present at the council meeting at Chalcedon in 451.
 
Marcion (S)

Marcion was born at Sinope, a town on the Black Sea. When he arrived in Rome, he became a student of and was influenced by the Gnostic teacher Cerdo. Marcion's idea was basically about the nature of two Gods, one that of the Old Testament he rejected, one that of the New Testament. He describes the God of the Old Testament as vengeful and source of evil and having favored the Jews exclusively. Even, he rejected the gospels of Mark, Matthew he considered Jewish writers. He was the one who cut out some parts of the New Testament (i.e. nativity) as he believed that Jesus wasn't born of a woman, but appeared as a grown man in the Synagogue at Capernaum in 29 AD. Eventually, his beliefs were repudiated by the church in Rome and he was ex-communicated in 144. This split caused the supporters to build their own churches. Their influence in the east was great.
 
Margaret (SM)

She became one of the most popular saints in the west in middle ages. She was born at Antioch of Pisidia region, in the Taurus mountains of Turkey. She was the Christian daughter of a pagan priest during the time of Diocletian. Because of her faith, she was beheaded.
 
Marina (S)

The legend says, Marina's father became a monk in Bithynia region of Turkey and kept his daughter with him, dressing her like a boy. On her father's death she stayed on in the Monastery. She was later exiled, because she was accused of fathering the child of an innkeeper's daughter later received back in the monastery. After her death, her sex and consequent innocence was discovered.
 
Mary the Virgin (S)

Of course the virgin Mary is one of the most notable women of the New Testament, although little is known about her life. She holds a prominent place in the birth of Jesus Christ, especially in the Gospel of St. Luke. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary were a couple of the royal house of David. This elderly couple didn't have a child and even Joachim's offer to sacrifice a lamb at the temple was rejected, because their barrenness. In sorrow, Joachim retired to wilderness to fast for forty days. Gabriel the archangel appeared to both Joachim and Anne separately to announce the coming of their child Mary to them. This scene in the Christian art takes place in the case of Joachim when he was herding his sheep out in the fields, and in the case of Anne, when she was by the fountain in the courtyard of their house. The most important themes about her life in the Christian art are Annunciation and the Nativity (birth of Jesus Christ), as painted on the walls of many churches. She was present at the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ who entrusted his mother to St. John who probably brought her with him to Ephesus. Today, there is stone house from 1st C. and restorations from 7th C. on the top of the hill 5 miles away from Ephesus, claimed to be the place where Mary spent her last years in peace. Also, Ephesus has the earliest church in the world dedicated to Mary, also this church was the one where they held the ecumenical council in 431.
 
Maximus the Confessor (SM)

Maximus was born at Constantinople C. 581 and died at Batumi on the Black Sea C. 662. He comes from a noble family of Constantinople and was the chief secretary to Emperor Heraclius, later he resigned from his office and became a monk at the monastery of Chyrsopolis (modern Uskudar) on the Asian bank of the Bosphorus. He was elected abbot of the Community, later he left his position, and under thread from Persians, he moved to Alexandria and on to Rome. He was a supporter of the Pope St. Martin in opposition to the unorthodox doctrine - Monotheism - and a decree of Emperor Constans II. He was taken back to Constantinople as a prisoner. After years of bad treatment and bad living conditions in the prison, he was brought before the emperor to declare his loyalty. Upon his refusal, he was ordered that his tongue, right hand would be cut off. The old man was exiled to a fortress near Batum on the Black Sea, and soon died there. St. Maximus was an important theologian and mystic of great capacity, and is known for his mystical and ascetical writings. One of them, the four Centuries of Charity is said to be one of the most beautiful in the Christian Literature.

 

 

 
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