Saint Marinus was the founder of a chapel and monastery, in 301, from where the world's oldest surviving republic, San Marino, grew. Tradition holds that he was a stonemason by trade who came from the island of Rab, on the other side of the Adriatic Sea (in what is now part of modern Croatia), fleeing persecution for his Christian beliefs in the Diocletianic Persecution. He became a Deacon, and was ordained by Gaudentius, the Bishop of Rimini; later, he was accused by an insane woman of being her estranged husband, so he fled to Monte Titano to live as a hermit. There he built a chapel and monastery. Marinus was canonised as a saint, and later, the State of San Marino grew up from the centre created by the monastery. His feast day/memorial day is September 3, commemorating the day, in 301, when he founded what became known as 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: "Relinquo vos liberos ab utroque homine." ("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 and the Papal States, however legendary, has always been the inspiration of the tiny republic.