The Choice of Marinus

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An edifying story from Eusebius of the Roman soldier Marinus (c. A.D. 260). A nobly born and wealthy soldier of high rank, he was up for promotion to centurion. The one just behind him in seniority challenged the promotion charging Marinus with being a Christian and, therefore, refusing to sacrifice to the emperors. Marinus told the judge it was true and the judge gave him three hours to reconsider…

When he left the court, Theotecnus, the local bishop, took him by the hand and led him to the church. Once inside, he placed him in front of the altar, and, raising his cloak, he pointed to the sword at his side. Then he brought the book of the divine Gospels, placed it before him, and asked him to choose which of the two he preferred.

Without hesitation, he put out his right hand and took the divine book. “Hold fast then,” Theotecnus told him, “hold fast to God. With his strength may you obtain what you have chosen. Go in peace.” Just as he was returning, a herald announced that the time had expired and summoned him to the court. Standing before the judge, he showed still greater fervor for the faith. He was immediately led off to execution and so found fulfillment.

3:44 pm on October 25, 2006