11 / 24 November
An Egyptian by birth and a soldier by profession, St Menas, as a true Christian, could not bear to look upon the foul offering of sacrifice to idols, so he left the army and the town, the society of men and everything else, and went to a deserted mountain. It was easier for Menas to live with the wild beasts than with pagans. One day, Menas looked from afar in spirit at a pagan festival in the town of Cotyaeus, then went to the town and, before them all, confessed his faith in Christ the living God, denouncing idolatry and paganism as falsehood and darkness. The governor of that town, one Pyrrhus, asked who and what he was. The saint replied: 'My fatherland is Egypt; my name is Menas. I was an officer, but, seeing the worship of idols, I rejected your honours. I have come now to proclaim my Christ before you all as the living God, that He may reveal me as His servant in the Kingdom of God.' Hearing this, Pyrrhus put holy Menas to harsh torture. He was flogged, flayed with iron flails, burned with torches and tortured in many other ways, finally being beheaded. His body was burned to prevent Christians taking it, but they did succeed in rescuing some bits from the flames. They buried these remains with care, and they were later taken to Alexandria and buried there, a church being built over them. St Menas suffered in about 304, and entered into the Kingdom of Christ. He was and remains a great wonderworker in both lives: both on earth and in heaven. Whoever has glorified Menas or invoked his aid with faith in time of need has received help. He has often appeared as a soldier on horseback, to help the faithful or punish the faithless. The Holy Martyr Stephen of Decani, King of Serbia.