Lives of the Saints
Upon the death of Mary’s mother, her father, Evgenios, resolved to dedicate his life
completely to God; therefore, he became a monk. Mary also desired to betroth
herself to Christ. However, she did not wish to be separated from her father. Hence,
our venerable mother discarded her feminine apparel and donned men’s clothing. She
then cropped her hair in a manly fashion and assumed the name of Marinos. Under
this disguise, she entered the very same monastery as her father near Alexandria of
Egypt. Soon after, however, her father reposed in the Lord. Mary was then tonsured
and kept the name of Marinos. Though her tasks (obediences) involved laboring with
the younger monks, no one ever thought that the young Fr. Marinos might be a
woman.
Nearby the monastery, there was an inn. Once, it became necessary, during a
monastic obedience outside the monastery, that Fr. Marinos lodge at the inn. The
innkeeper’s wayward daughter, believing that Fr. Marinos was a man, burned with
desire for the young monk. After pursuing the monk and humiliating herself when
repulsed by Mary, the wanton innkeeper’s daughter sought revenge. She accused the
righteous Fr. Marinos of seducing her. She did this because she already had illicit
relations with a soldier and had conceived by him. Mary gladly accepted this false
accusation and the reproach that went with it. She even went so far as to admit that
she committed sin with the innkeeper’s daughter. In time, the innkeeper’s daughter
brought forth a son. At this point, Mary was expelled from the monastery when the
newborn was entrusted to her. Henceforth, she was expected to support and bring up
the lad. The responsibility, anxiety, and care of rearing and feeding another’s infant
was something that the ever-memorable one voluntarily endured with much hardship
and public scorn. During this time, the innkeeper’s daughter went mad when she
became possessed by an evil demon. After three years of enduring deprivation, Mary,
inspired by God, re-entered the same monastery again, together with her foster son.
It was there that she dwelt until her blessed repose in 508. When preparations were
being made for the burial, it was only then discovered that Monk Marinos was
actually a woman. When the innkeeper’s daughter touched the precious relics of
Mary, she was immediately healed from demonic possession, and admitted that the
actual father was some soldier. At this unexpected turn of events, the abbot of the
monastery and all the brotherhood, who formerly accused the holy one of being
wretched and depraved, now called Mary blessed and worthy of great honor.

[1]  From "The Lives of the Spiritual Mothers," (Buena Vista, California: Holy Apostles
Convent, 1991), pp. 70-72.
St Mary of Alexandria