Saint Marina: The Protectress of Nephrology


“Saint Marina: The Protectress of Nephrology”

A.C. Eftychiadis, S.G. Marketos

American Journal of Nephrology, Vol. 19, No. 2, 1999.


Saint virgin and martyr Marina of Antioch in Pisidia (255–270) is recognized as the patron saint of kidney sufferers and the protectress of nephrology. Beginning in the 13th century she heals in particular patients suffering from nephropathies, pregnant women having a difficult childbirth, barren women and sickly children. She protects the patients from every side effect and complication. Saint Marina is represented in hagiography as a victor, defeating the dragon satan, holding a hammer or a cross and wearing a belt around her back in the area of kidneys. According to writers, artists and sculptors the belt is the perceivable means of Saint Marina for the miraculous recovery from and healing of kidney diseases. Therefore, kidney sufferers and pregnant women put belts upon her relics for blessing and then wore them. From the Middle Ages and Renaissance and up to the contemporary period Saint Marina was considered the patron saint of kidney sufferers. Justifiably she is recognized by the modern medical world as the protectress of nephrology.