Mar Mema was a great martyr born in the third century to noble roman parents, who professed their Christian faith openly. They were both arrested and locked in prison in Caesarea in Cappadocia. Both his parents Theodotus and Rufina died in prison, rufina died after giving birth to Mema prematurely.
A Christian widow named Ammia raised mema in the Christian faith. Mema was an ordinary teenage boy who had an education. He was confident in his faith and through discussions and living through example, he converted many of his peers.
The governor at the time had learnt of Mema and the way he was converting many to Christianity and had him arrested. He was then sent to the Emperor Aurelian, who tried to convert Mema to the pagan faith. Mema refused and pointed out that the errors of the pagan’s faith. This made the emperor mad and and he sent Mema to be tortured. After many trials, he was struck in the stomach by a trident and died a martyr at the age of 15. Mar Mema is the patron saint of Shepherds and nurses.
Mar Mema is a great example to young people in today’s society. With immense pressure for teenagers to follow the crowd and give in to peer pressure, Mema is a great role model for young people to take courage and be them selves. Stand out of the crowd and don’t be afraid to be yourself, proclaim your faith and what you believe in, even if you may be ridiculed or thought to be different.
Mar Mema’s church in Ehden, Lebanon is the oldest Maronite church (in Lebanon) built in 749 CE. The church was built on the remains of a Byzantine Church from the sixth century and has ancient inscription writings in Greek and Syriac.
We love this video by the Orthodox Sr Vassa Larin (Australian jokes and all).