Golden Legend: Saint Marine

As promised, here is the story of Saint Marine, which overlaps with the story of Saint Pelagien which you read earlier. You can read more about Saint Marina the Monk at Wikipedia. In this version, Marine's mother has died and her father has joined a monastery; he also disguises Marine as a boy and arranges for her to join the monastery with him. Later, like Saint Pelagien, Marine is accused of fathering a child, and she does not deny the charge, preferring to keep her gender a secret. In this story the child is brought to the monastery and Marine raises the child herself. It's a fascinating story!

[Notes by LKG]

This story is part of the Women Saints unit. Story source: The Golden Legend edited by F. S. Ellis (1900).

Here followeth the Life next of S. Marine

Marine was a noble virgin and was one only daughter to her father without brother or sister, and after the death of her mother, her father entered into a monastery of religion, and changed the habit of his daughter so that she seemed and was taken for his son and not a woman. Then the father prayed the abbot and his brethren that they would receive his only son, whom at his instance they received for to be a monk and was called of them all brother Marine. He began to live right religiously, and to be much obedient.

When she was twenty-seven years and her father approached towards the death, he called his daughter to him, confirming her in her good purpose and commanding her that in no wise she should show ne do be known that she was a woman, and then her father died.

She went ofttimes to the wood with the cart to fetch home wood, and because it was far from the monastery otherwhile she lodged in a goodman's house whose daughter had conceived a child by a knight.

And when it was perceived, she was thereof examined, who had begotten that child, and she said that it was the monk Marine had lain by her and gotten it. And then anon the father and mother went to the abbey and made a great complaint and a great clamour to the abbot for his monk Marine.

Then the abbot, being hereof sore abashed, sent for Marine and demanded of him why he had done so horrible a sin. And he meekly answered and said: Holy father, I ask of our Lord mercy, for I have sinned.

Then the abbot hearing this was much angry for the sorrow and shame, and commanded anon that he should be put out of the house. And then this Marine full patiently went out of the monastery, and dwelled at the gate three years, and lived straitly with a morsel of bread a day.

And when the child was weaned from the mother's pap, it was sent to the abbot, and he sent it to Marine, and bade him keep such treasure as he had brought forth. And then he took meekly and patiently the child and kept it with him there two years.

All these things he took in great patience, and in all things gave to our Lord thankings; and at the last the brethren had pity on him and considered his humility and patience, and did so much to the abbot that he was taken into the monastery, and all the offices that were most foul were enjoined for him for to do. He took it all gladly, and all things he did patiently and devoutly, and at the last, being full of virtuous life, she died and departed out of this world.

When they should take up the body and wash it for to dispose it to be buried they saw that she was a woman. All they were astonied and feared, and knowledged that they had trespassed greatly in the servant of God. Then they ran all for to see the sight, and asked forgiveness of their ignorance and trespass. Then bare they the body of her into the church and there honourably they buried it.

Then she that infamed the servant of God was taken and vexed with a devil, and knowledging her sin came to the sepulchre of the blessed virgin, and there was delivered and made all whole. To whose tomb the people over all there about came and assembled, and there our Lord showed many miracles for his blessed virgin Marine. She died the fourteenth kalends of July.

(600 words)

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