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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

March 3

SS. Marinus and Asterius, or Astyrius, Martyrs

ST. MARINUS was a person remarkable both for his wealth and family at Cæsarea in Palestine, about the year 272, and was in course to succeed to the place of a centurion, which was vacant, and about to obtain it; when another came up and said, that according to the laws Marinus could not have that post, on account of his being a Christian. Achæus, the governor of Palestine, asked Marinus if he were a Christian; who answered in the affirmative: whereupon the judge gave him three hours space to consider whether he would abide by his answer, or recall it. Theotecnus, the bishop of that city, being informed of the affair, came to him, when withdrawn from the tribunal, and taking him by the hand led him to the church. Here, pointing to the sword which he wore, and then to a book of the gospels, asked him which of the two he made his option. Marinus, in answer to the query, without the least hesitation, stretched out his right hand, and laid hold of the sacred book. “Adhere stedfastly then to God,” says the bishop, “and he will strengthen you, and you shall obtain what you have chosen. Depart in peace.” Being summoned again before the judge, he professed his faith with greater resolution and alacrity than before, and was immediately led away just as he was, and beheaded. St. Asterius, or Astyrius, a Roman senator, in great favour with the emperors, and well known to all on account of his birth and great estate, being present at the martyrdom of St. Marinus, though he was richly dressed, took away the dead body on his shoulders, and having sumptuously adorned it, gave it a decent burial. Thus far the acts in Ruinart. Rufinus adds, that he was beheaded for this action. See Eus. Hist. l. 7. c. 15, 16, 17.  1