Martyr Habakkuk and his parents 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 with his wife and sons began to aid 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 with love they helped him, since he had endured many torments for faith in Christ.

The persecution spread and an even larger number of 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. Marinus and his family, having learned about this vicious murder, together with the presbyter John began by night to take up the bodies of the martyrs for burial in the catacombs. They returned later to the prison where StCyrenus was locked up, but did not find him, since he had been executed the day before and his body thrown into the Tiber River. Doing their holy duty, StsMarinus 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 were hidden by them from 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 together with them the holy ascetics from Persia were arrested and given over to torture. By order of the emperor, in the year 269 Sts Marinus, Audifax and Habakkuk were beheaded, 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.