St. Menas the Wonderworker
When the shrine to St. Menas, a complex of baths near Alexandria, was
excavated in the early XX Century, workers found ampullas,
that depict the saint with camels. From this, scholars infer that Menas
was a camel driver before he enlisted in the army. Legends say that Menas
was an Egyptian Christian who deserted from the Roman army during the
persecutions of Diocletian. Menas, who is supposed to have hidden in a
cave, repented of his desertion and returned to KotyŠum in Phrygia, where
he had been stationed, where he professed his faith publically, possibly
at the annual games. He was beheaded c. 295/303, and his body was returned
to Egypt. His tomb and basilica at Mareotis became a national shrine and a
popular pilgrimage destination. Arabs destroyed the shrine, called "the
glory of the Libyan desert," in the VII Century.
Karen Rae Keck
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