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E07446: The late 4th to 6th century collection of Miracles of *Menas (soldier martyr of Egypt, S00073), ascribed to Timothy of Alexandria, recounts the story of the miraculous rescue from rape of a Samaritan woman who was travelling to the shrine as a pilgrim. Written in Greek in Alexandria.

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posted on 2019-03-10, 00:00 authored by erizos
Timothy of Alexandria, Miracles of Menas (CPG 2527, BHG 1256-1269)

Miracle 6. The Samaritan woman (BHG 1262)


A Samaritan woman, after suffering from chronic migraines for three years, is encouraged by Christian women to pray at Menas’ shrine. Keeping the pilgrimage secret from her husband, she departs with her friends for the shrine. On their way, they lodge at an inn by the lake, and the innkeeper attempts to rape her. While he is about to assault her with a sword, she invokes Menas, and the offender’s arms are instantly paralysed. The saint appears on horseback, breaks down the doors of the inn and rescues the woman. She goes to the shrine, requests from the chief presbyter (archipresbyteros) to be baptised, and spends the rest of her life as a nun at the shrine. Later, the innkeeper comes to the shrine, with his arms still paralysed and holding the sword, and for seven days implores the saint for forgiveness. Menas appears in a dream and orders him to follow the instructions of the steward (oikonomos) of the shrine. Next morning, the oikonomos asks him to go down to the saint’s crypt (katabasis) where the archipresbyteros anoints his arms with oil from the saint’s lamp, and his arms are healed. The man donates all his fortune to the shrine, and spends the rest of his life there, serving together with the woman he had attempted to rape.

Text: Pomialovskii 1900.
Summary: E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Menas, soldier and martyr buried at Abu Mena : S00073

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Abu Mina Alexandria

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Abu Mina Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Alexandria Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Miraculous protection - of people and their property Punishing miracle Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Women Jews and Samaritans

Cult Activities - Relics

Contact relic - oil


The collection is preserved, not always intact, in 69 manuscripts, on which see:


For the context of this story, see E07440.


Text: Pomialovskii, I., Житие преподобного Паисия Великого и Тимофея патриарха Александрийского повествование о чудесах св. великомученика Мины (St Petersburg, 1900), 61-89. Further reading: Delehaye, H., "Les recueils antiques de miracles des saints," Analecta Bollandiana 43 (1925), 5-85, 305-325. Efthymiadis, S., "Collections of Miracles (Fifth-Fifteenth Centuries)," in: S. Efthymiadis (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography II: Genres and Contexts (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), 106.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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