Our mother among the saints, Emily (also Emmelia or Emilia), is the mother of Saint Basil the Great and several other children who are saints of the Church. Churches of the Russian tradition keep her feast on January 1, along with her son Basil. Greek churches keep her feast on May 30, along with her husband Saint Basil the Elder and her mother-in-law, Saint Macrina the Elder.
There are precious few descriptions of Saint Emily’s life. She was the daughter of a martyr and the daughter-in-law of Macrina the Elder. Along with her husband Basil the Elder, she gave birth to ten children. She instilled the Orthodox faith in her children, teaching them to pray and devote their lives to the service of the Church. As a result of her zealous yet maternal instruction of her children, five of them are commemorated as saints on the calendar of the Church: Saints Macrina, Basil, Peter of Sebaste, Gregory of Nyssa, and Theosebia, a deaconess. Therefore, Saint Emily is often called without exaggeration “the mother of saints.