Martyr Marinus and his wife and children and those with them at Rome

The Holy Martyrs Marinus, Martha, Audifax, Habakkuk, Cyrenus, Valentinus the Presbyter, Asterius, and many others with them at Rome.

During the reign of the emperor Claudius II (268-270), St Marinus together with his wife Martha and their sons Audifax and Habakkuk journeyed from Persia to Rome, to pray at the graves of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. During this time fierce persecutions and executions befell the Roman Church. St Marinus and his wife and sons helped Christians locked up in the prisons, and also to request the bodies of executed martyrs. At one of these jails they met a prisoner named Cyrenus and they helped him, since he had endured many torments for faith in Christ.

The persecution spread, and even more Christians were arrested. During this time 260 Christians, among whom was the tribune Vlastus, had been sent under the court sentence to dig ground along the Salerian Way, and were executed by archers. When they learned about this vicious murder, Marinus, his family, and the presbyter John went by night and took the bodies of the martyrs to be buried in the catacombs. They returned later to the prison where St Cyrenus was incarcerated, but did not find him. He had been executed the day before and his body was thrown into the Tiber River. Doing their holy duty, Sts Marinus and Martha and their sons took the body of the holy martyr from the river and committed it to the earth. The holy workers were among Christians, who continued secretly to perform the divine services under the leadership of the holy Bishop Callistus, and hid them from their pursuers.

In consummation of their great charitable deeds the holy family was deemed worthy to glorify the Lord by martyrdom. The pagans beheaded the courageous confessor Valentinus the Presbyter, and the imperial gardener Asterius who had been converted by him, and the holy ascetics from Persia were arrested and given over to torture. By order of the emperor, Sts Marinus, Audifax and Habakkuk were beheaded in the year 269, and St Martha was drowned in a river.

The relics of the holy saints are in Rome at the Church of St John the Hut-Dweller, and the relics of St Valentinus are in the Church of the holy Martyr Paraskeva.