Saint Marcian

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Commemorated January 10
Saint Marcian, Presbyter of the Great Church, was born at Rome and in his youth he received a first-rate education in Constantinople. After the death of his parents, St Marcian used his inheritance on the building, renovation and embellishment of churches. Thus, he built a church dedicated to the holy Martyr Anastasia (December 22), richly adorned it, and had the holy relics of the saint transferred to it. He also built a church of the Great Martyr Irene (May 5), and the church of St Isidore. When asked why he spent so much of his wealth on churches, he replied: “If I had a daughter and was giving her in marriage to some nobleman, would I not expend much gold to adorn her as a worthy bride? Here, I am adorning the Church, the Bride of Christ.”

His moral purity and strict asceticism were resented by those who were slothful and avaricious, for they regarded his life as an unspoken criticism of their own lack of virtue. However, his meekness and silence overcame their slanders and brought him to the attention of the Patriarch, who ordained St Marcian a presbyter and appointed him treasurer of the Church of Constantinople.

From his wealth St Marcian distributed generous alms, and distinguished himself by non-covetousness, denying himself in everything. In accord with the command of the Savior, he did not even have an extra set of clothes, which he might need should he be caught in inclement weather. Having received a gift of wonderworking, St Marcian healed the sick and cast out devils. St Marcian died between 472-474 and was buried at the monastery of St John the Forerunner at Constantinople.

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