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Saint Marinus

Saint Marinus

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Saint Marinus was the founder of the world's oldest surviving republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, San Marino
San Marino
San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino , is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino...

, in 301. Tradition holds that he was a stonemason by trade who came from the island of Rab
Rab
Rab is an island in Croatia and a town of the same name located just off the northern Croatian coast in the Adriatic Sea.The island is long, has an area of and 9,480 inhabitants . The highest peak is Kamenjak at 408 meters...

 on the other side of the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 (modern Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

), fleeing persecution for his Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 beliefs in the Diocletianic Persecution. He became a Deacon, and was ordained by Gaudentius
Gaudentius of Rimini
Saint Gaudentius of Rimini was born in Ephesus in Asia Minor. In 308 he migrated to Rome and was baptized. In 332 he was ordained as a priest and fourteen years later consecrated as a bishop. He was then sent to Ariminum where he became the first bishop of that city...

, the Bishop of Rimini
Roman Catholic Diocese of Rimini
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rimini is an ecclesiastical territory in Emilia Romagna, Italy. It is a suffragan of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ravenna.It has a surface of 781 km², extending over 28 communes of the area...

, until he was accused by an insane woman of being her estranged husband, when he fled to Monte Titano
Monte Titano
Monte Titano is a mountain of the Apennines and the highest peak in San Marino. It stands at above sea level and is located immediately to the east of the capital, San Marino. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 under the combined title "San Marino Historic Centre and Mount...

 to live as a hermit. There he built a chapel and monastery. Marinus was canonised and later, the State of San Marino grew up from the centre created by the monastery. His memorial day is September 3, commemorating the day of the year when he founded San Marino
San Marino
San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino , is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino...

, which is also the state's national holiday.

According to legend, he died in the Winter of 366 and his last words were: "." ("I leave you free from both men"). This somewhat mysterious phrase is most likely to refer to the two "men" from whose oppressive power Saint Marinus had decided to separate himself, becoming a hermit on Mount Titano: respectively the Emperor and the Pope. This affirmation of freedom (first and foremost fiscal franchise) from both the Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 and the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

, however legendary, has always been the inspiration of the tiny republic.

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