Saints Emmelia, Nonna and Anthousa, Mothers of the Three Hierarchs

Feast Day: Sunday after the Feast of the Presentation of Christ to the Temple (February 2nd)

The Life of Saints Emmelia, Nonna and Anthousa: Saints Nonna, Emmelia and Anthousa are perfect examples of Christian motherhood, and one can see the great Virtue in their lives, and especially through their children, the fruits of their labours and faith…



Akathist Hymn

Apolytikion: The Three Holy Mothers of the Teachers let us honour, who bore the Hierarchs, and preached Christ, and watered them with the milk of piety, and nurtured them on the Glorious faith, training them as trees. Emmelia the Divine, and Nonna the Thrice-Blessed, and the chaste Anthousa, the astonishment of Lebanon. Come, the imitators of their struggles, let us gather together to offer hymns to them, as they intercede for us to the Trinity.   

Kontakion: The Feast of the Mothers shines forth today, come, you who love feasts, let us praise them, crying out: Rejoice Emmelia, together with Divine Nonna, and All-Praised Anthousa.

Doxastikon: A day of rejoicing has shined forth upon the Church of Christ, and She has put forth this common Feast for the exaltation of the Christian people. Come, therefore, the ranks of the Orthodox, let us honour in hymns and God-inspired melodies, the Memory of the Holy Mothers of the Three Glorious Hierarchs. For behold, Mariam who gave birth to God, offered to the Priest in the Temple her Holy and Most-Sacred Fruit, becoming the Prototype to Mothers. But these famed Mothers Emmelia, Nonna and Anthousa, bore fruit in Prayer, and offered their tears to God for their faithful children, and nursed them on the milk of piety, and offered them up as pure, spotless and fitting sacrifices. Let us cry out to them: rejoice, O chaste Mothers, the God-sent examples for their children, sons and daughters, the hope of spouses, and the fervent intercessors for the faithful, and the speedy deliverers. Therefore, entreat Christ, we Pray, on behalf of those who honour your All-Pious and Ever-Blessed Memory, and send down upon us all peace, and great mercy for our Souls.

Saint Emmelia (May 30th) – Mother of Saint Basil the Great

She was the daughter of a Martyr, and the daughter-in-law of Saint Macrina the Elder. Her husband was Saint Basil the Elder, and together they had 10 children; Saint Basil the Great, Saint Macrina the Younger, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Naukratios of Mount Nitria, Saint Peter of Sebaste, Saint Theosevia, and some other daughters.

Apolytikion: Having lived your life prudently before God, you finished your course beforehand with Revered Basil, All-Revered Emmelia, and in the wilderness, you mutually went with your children, towards that which you longed for above, wherefore Christ Most-Glorified your household.


Saint Nonna (August 5th) – Mother of Saint Gregory the Theologian

She was married to Gregory, and they had three children; Saint Gregory the Theologian, Saint Caesarius and Saint Gorgonia.


Saint Anthousa – Mother of Saint John Chrysostom