SS. MARINUS AND ASTERIUS, OR ASTYRIUS, MM.
ST. MARINUS was a person remarkable both for his
wealth and family at Cæsarea in Palestine, about the year 272,
and was in course to succeed to the place of a centurion, which was
vacant, and about to obtain it; when another came up and said, that
according to the laws Marinus could not have that post, on account of
his being a Christian. Achæus, the governor of Palestine, asked
Marinus if he was a Christian; who answered in the affirmative:
whereupon the judge gave him three hours space to consider whether he
would abide by his answer, or recall it. Theotecnus, the bishop of
that city, being informed of the affair, came to him, when withdrawn
from the tribunal, and taking him by the hand led him to the church.
Here, pointing to the sword which he wore, and then to a book of the
gospels, asked him which of the two he made his option. Marinus, in
answer to the query, without the least hesitation, stretched out his
right hand, and laid hold of the sacred book. “Adhere
steadfastly then to God,” says the bishop, “and he will
strengthen you, and you shall obtain what you have chosen. Depart in
peace.” Being summoned again before the judge, he professed his
faith with greater resolution and alacrity than before, and was
immediately led away just as he was, and beheaded. St. Asterius, or
Astyrius, a Roman senator, in great favor with the emperors, and well
known to all on account of his high birth and great estate, being
present at the martyrdom of St. Marinus, though he was richly
dressed, took away the dead body on his shoulders, and having
sumptuously adorned it, gave it a decent burial. Thus far the acts in
Ruinart. Rufinus adds, that he was beheaded for this action. See Eus.
Hist.1. 7, c. 15, 16, 17.