Olympia the Deaconess

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Saint Olympia, deaconess of Constantinople is commemorated by the Church July 25.

The name 'Olympia'

Olympia is the feminine variant of the Ancient Greek Olympios. There exists a mountain in northern Greece called Olympus, which, according to Ancient Greek mythology was the home of the twelve gods. Olympia was also the name of a plain in the western Peloponnese in the ancient Elis, this also was considered a sacred site for the mythological gods of Ancient Greece.

According to the ancient mythology, these sites were a sanctuary for the god Zeus and the site of the ancient Olympic games.

Born 361

Olympia, was born into a wealthy family with high rank. Her father was, Count Anysios Secondos and her mother's name was Alexandra Seconodos.

Reposed 408

Shortly after the repose of St John Chrysostom in September 14, 407 AD, Olympia passed away in Nicomedia on July 25, 408 AD.

Before her repose, Olympia gave instructions that her remains be placed in a coffin and tossed into the sea, leaving her final resting place to divine providence.

Her relics

Upon her repose, her memory was celebrated by many since she was very charitable due to her considerable wealth.

As requested, she her coffin was tossed into the sea and floated to Vrocthee, a suburban shore in Constantinople. At this location, the monastery and church of Apostle Thomas was located (see the Prologue from Ochrid, Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic).

Approximately 616 - 620 AD, the Persians attacked the monastery by burning it. Her relics had to be removed.

The relics were translated to the convent of 'the house of Olympia' by the abbess Sergia in 630 AD.

Cricial relationships

  • Her uncle the Prefect Procopios.
  • Patriarch Gregory of Constantinople, 329 - 389 AD (aka St Gregory the Theologian).
  • Her governess, Theodosia, the sister of St Amphilochios of Iconium
  • Her husband, the sub-prefect Nevridios.
  • Emperor Theodosios I, the Spaniard
  • Patriarch of Constantinople, Nectarios
  • Patriarch of Constantinople, St John Chrysostom
  • Her niece Olympia – ordained to the diaconate with Olympia.
  • Her handmaidens, Elisantha, Martyria and Palladia – three sisters ordained to diaconate with Olympia.
  • The 50 expelled monks from Nitria during 385-412 AD
  • St Amphilochios, St Epiphanios, St Peter of Sabaste and St Gregory of Nyssa.

External link