This is a guest post by Ezekiel Foster-Eardley. It felt important to mark the day of a trans masc saint with writing from a trans masc satanist so please enjoy!
June 18th is the feast day of Saint Marinos, a transmasculine 5th Century Lebanese monk, father and Patron Saint.
Marinos transitioned in order to join the Qannoubine monastery with his father and went on to pursue an ascetic and virtuous life. Marinos was proficient in his spirituality, healing the sick and fasting regularly - so much so that his infallible virtue led his fellow brothers to believe his soft voice was the result of dedicated prayer.
Marinos was falsely accused of fathering the child of an unmarried inn keeper's daughter. Upon being confronted, Marinos offered no defence, instead acknowledging himself as a sinful man and living in abject penitence following his expulsion from the monastery. He then took it upon himself to raise the child alone for ten years before being allowed back inside the monastery as long as he performed hard labour in addition to his monastic and childcare duties.
Upon his death, the preparation of his body for burial revealed his birth sex to the brothers. The Abbot then wept and begged for forgiveness, and Marinos' voice was heard forgiving him. The inn keeper's daughter also confessed to her false accusation, and Marinos was known as a Saint thereafter.
Celebrating Saint Marinos' day resonates within the practice of Satanism, in that we celebrate our forgotten role models and pay homage to the teachings that resonate within our lives today as well as defy the ideals that cause struggle and pain that we share with Patron Saints like Marinos himself. Not only is it an act of reclamation for religious holidays, catholic feasts and martyrdom, it is also an act of respect for those who paved the way for our communities and were denied the dignity that they deserved.
For Saint Marinos, observing his feast day is honouring his dedication and identity where his story would otherwise be disregarded or even defiled. Saint Marinos' day offers the opportunity to reflect upon the Satanic Tenets and their application in our lives.
One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
Marinos practiced exceeding compassion and empathy during his monastic life, even toward the woman who wronged him by falsely imposing paternity upon him by not only accepting his exile but raising the child himself. To honour Marinos as a father is to honour our trans brothers who have fathered children themselves despite the struggles that coincide with trans parenthood.
The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
Despite the laws that bound him, Marinos joined the monastery and provided justice not only to his trans identity but to the child he raised. His story offers an important lesson in compassion and justice not only to ourselves but to others, as well as defying systemic injustice and the laws that bind us to live our truths in order to provide freedom and justice to others. Allowing freedom to others and being true to ourselves allows us the freedom to pursue a life of mutual aid and kindness.
One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
Marinos' transition was a brave act of bodily autonomy, something that resonates within the trans community. To honour his certainty and commitment to his identity is to honour the identity of trans people past and present, who lived true to themselves no matter the cost. His story is a reminder that bodily autonomy leads to greater freedom, and hailing thyself goes hand in hand with the honour and justification of others.
The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To wilfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own.
Though the inn keeper's daughter committed an act regarded as sin at the time as well as imposing upon Marinos himself, Marinos showed divine respect to her offense and acted in nobility, offering the child a chance to live in virtue by his care. This offers the chance to acknowledge that his supposed offense should have been treated with forgiveness. It offers reflection upon the sacrifices made by trans parents as well as our own attitudes of forgiveness.
People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one's best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
Though Marinos was not responsible for the child, he took upon himself to resolve the matter and raise the child himself as an act of empathy and an opportunity to make the best of the situation they were both in. This offers an important lesson in forgiveness and the good we can do in the world. It also offers the opportunity for gratitude to all that trans people do as pillars of the community, from the sacrifices made to the acts of rectification trans people take upon themselves.
Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.
Celebrating Saint Marinos and combining his story with the Satanic Tenets inspires nobility and gratitude, not only to ourselves especially as trans people but to the acts of others.
Honouring the Patron Saint Marinos as a trans Saint is to honour ourselves as individuals and a community as well as acknowledging our divine presence and our place among benevolent Saints. Observing June 18th as his feast day - during Pride month and before Father's Day no less - is an opportunity to learn his story and reflect upon how we can use it to inspire change and action, and to remind us to give trans people the reverence they deserve, especially trans fathers and saints.
Thank you for reading. Below is the link to a local solidarity fund for non-binary, transgender and gender non-conforming people, so if you liked the article and would like to get into the same spirit as Saint Marinos then please do donate.