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Olympias the Deaconess

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Saint Olympias
Olimpiada diakonissa.jpg
Deaconess
Born 368, Constantinople
Died 25 July 408, Nicomedia
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church
Canonized Pre-Congregation
Feast 17 December Roman Catholic

25 July Eastern Orthodox

Saint Olympias was a widow, deaconess and friend of Saint John Chrysostom. Born in Constantinople, circa 368, to a wealthy family, but was left orphaned at a young age. Olympias would later go on marry a man by the name of Nebridius, who was Prefect of Constantinople[1]. When left widowed, and after refusing many offers of marriage[2], Olympias dedicated her life to the church, serving as a deaconess. Her good works included building a hospital and an orphanage, even looking after monks who had been led in exile from Nitria. All of this even led to Saint John Chrysostom telling her that she had done almost too much[3]. Olympias' support for Saint John Chrysostom, led to her persecution in 404, leading to her losing her house and living the rest of her life in exile at Nicomedia, where she would die on 25 July 408, after a long illness.

Olympias is one of the 140 Colonnade saints which adorn St. Peter's Square.

References

  1. St. Olympias Catholic Online
  2. St. Olympias New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia
  3. Saint Olympias Patron Saint Index

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