SAINT OLYMPIAS: Deaconess of Constantinople, holy icon of ‘beloved daughter’, friend of orphans, patients, lost her house, lived rest of her life in exile at Nicomedia

Published July 26, 2013 by goyodelarosa

File:Olimpiada diakonissa.jpg

Olympias the Deaconess

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saint Olympias
Olimpiada diakonissa.jpg
Deaconess
Born circa 361–368
Antioch or Constantinople
Died July 25, 408
Nicomedia
Honored in Roman Catholic ChurchEastern Orthodox Church
Canonized Pre-Congregation
Feast December 17, Roman CatholicJuly 25, Eastern Orthodox

Olympias, also known as Saint Olympias and sometimes known as Olympias the Younger[1] to distinguish her from her aunt of the same name[2] (Greek: Ὀλυμπιάς, sometime between 361 to 368-July 25, 408) was a Christian Roman noblewoman of Greek descent.

Olympias was born and raised either in Constantinople or Antioch. She was the daughter born to the Antiochian Greek noblewoman, Alexandra and the wealthy Greek RhetorSeleucus.[3]

Olympias is described as the ‘beloved daughter’ born to Seleucus and Alexandra.[9] In her adult years, Olympias would later go to marry a nobleman called Nebridius who served as Prefect of Constantinople.[10]

After her husband died and refusing many offers of marriage,[11] she dedicated her life to the church, serving as a deaconess. She would later become a friend of Saint John Chrysostom.

Her good works included building a hospital, an orphanage and even looking after Monks who had been led in exile from Nitria.

All of this even led to John Chrysostom telling her that she had done almost too much.[12]

Her support for John Chrysostom led her to being exiled in 404, which resulted her in losing her house and living the rest of her life in exile at Nicomedia, where she would die on July 25, 408, after a long illness.

Olympias is one of the 140 Colonnade saints which adorn Saint Peter’s Square.


 

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