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Nonna of Nazianzus

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Nonna of Nazianzus
Born unknown, Nazianzus, Cappadocia
Died c. 374
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast 5 August
Patronage death of children, information services[1]

Saint Nonna of Nazianzus was the wife of Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder, and the mother of Gregory the Theologian, Caesarius, and Gorgonia.


Nonna married and converted her husband, Gregory, who had been a member of the Hypsistarians, a distinct Jewish-pagan sect worshiping Hypsistos, the "Most High" God. She was the mother of three saints, the most notable being Gregory of Nazianzus. She outlived her husband and two of her children, dying in 374.[2]

Her son Gregory tells of an occasion in 351 when Nonna fell sick with a severe illness and appeared to be at the point of death. Gregory was on his way to pay a visit to a friend, but hurried to his mother, who in the meantime, had begun to recover, having a vision in which Gregory had given her magical cakes marked with the sign of the cross, and blessed by him.[3]

Nonna is championed by her son as a model of Christian motherhood. Gregory wrote of her,

My mother was a worthy companion for such a man [as my father] and her qualities were as great as his. She came from a pious family, but was even more pious than they. Though in her body she was but a woman, in her spirit she was above all men... Her mouth knew nothing but the truth, but in her modesty she was silent about those deeds which brought her glory. She was guided by the fear of God...[4]


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