Marcian was a pretty well-connected, affluent Byzantine priest. He was related somehow to Emperor Theodosius II, which can often set you in good stead. Yet Marcian was more devout than worldly, which resulted in a net loss of personal wealth. And moreover, he took that left hand / right hand admonition seriously, always donating money anonymously. He was tremendously austere in his personal life, which is a good qualification for an Oikonomos -- a word for treasurer, from which is derived the English word economy. I'd like to say that's how he became the patron saint of economists, but the truth is no particular saint is designated for that patronage. The closest is Albertus Magnus, Doctor of the Church and patron of scientists and philosophers.
|Apparently, this coin shows Marcian's face.|
He was on his way to the consecration Mass when he encountered a naked beggar in the road. Marcian slipped off his chasuble, then stripped off all his other clothes. He gave them to the beggar, redraped the chasuble over himself, and hustled off. No one perceived Marcian's nakedness; in fact, everyone else saw him clothed in a rich, golden robe. After the Mass was over, the Patriarch called him on his ostentation, showing everyone else up by wearing such an extravagantly costly garment. Marcian pointed out that he was in fact buck-naked under the chasuble, but in truth he was robed in the beauty of his generosity.