St. Emilia: The Mother of Five Saints

As we get ready to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ, lets take a look at another notable mother, St. Emilia.
Sometimes St. Emilia is also known as St. Amelia. St. Emilia was truly blessed. Not only was she able to have ten children, but five of them were considered saints of the church. You couldn’t ask for better children. While there isn’t much information about St. Emilia’s life, there’s enough to show how good her heart and soul was in the faith. Most notably, St. Emilia was the mother to Saint Basil the Great. She was also mother to St. Macrina, St. Peter of Sebaste, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Theosebia. When she had her children, her first and only job was to instill the Holy Orthodox faith in them. She taught them how to pray to God. She also taught and showed them how they could live their life in service of Him.

In her life, she suffered one of the greatest heartaches as a mother; she lost one of her children. This was devastating to her, but her youngest daughter St. Macrina came to her aide by reminding her to take comfort in the Lord. When all of her children were grown, St. Emilia decided to leave her home to find a monastery in a secluded area. Her youngest daughter Macrina came with her. She lived a very meager life while at the monastery. She split up all of her land between her children, and only left enough for her to get by in the new living place While she didn’t plan for anyone else besides her daughter to join her at the monastery, a group of female slaves decided to move in. Due to this gathering, the monastery became a convent. The convent valued fasting and poverty. They found it to be what God truly wanted people to live in. Their community was untouched by negative emotions such as, anger, jealousy, and hatred. They had nothing but pride for their life in seclusion, and took delight in pleasing the Lord in this way.

What We Can Learn from St. Emilia

St. Emilia’s devoted her life to giving birth to the next generation of Christians. She instilled Christian faith in her children at a young age, and then when they were grown she showed them that she practiced what she preached. Most people would never think of dividing all their assets among their children before death, but that’s what St. Emilia did. She knew that God would provide her whatever she needed while in seclusion.

Her dedication to the Lord is admirable. This might be why the slaves came to join her. They must have heard about how she gave up everything she had to live for the Lord, and they were intrigued by this – they wanted to join her in the special way she was devoting herself to God.

By not only instilling God’s faith in her children, she also did for the slaves. This is pleasing to God, and something everyone should keep in mind as they live their life. Bringing your children before God to show them how important he is, and then doing what God wants you to do in your life is how you can follow St. Emilia’s example.