Matthias the Apostle, Marinus and Asterius of Rome
In the middle we see Matthias the apostle carrying a halberd (feast day February 24). Matthias died a martyr’s death by being stoned and decapitated with an axe. Other note-worthy aspects of his appearance in this miniature are the forked beard and copious amount of grey and brown hair. The two other saints in the picture form a pair: they are the Roman martyrs Marinus and Asterius of Rome (feast day March 3). Marinus was a soldier in the Roman army who secretly practiced the Christian faith. When he was promoted to the rank of centurion, he was required to make a sacrifice to the emperor, which he refused to do. He professed his faith and was promptly sentenced to die by decapitation. Senator Asterius of Caesarea took care of Marinus’ body and made sure he received a Christian burial, for which he was also sentenced to death by decapitation.