St. Emilia of Caesarea (♰ 375 AD)

Today we look briefly at the life of St. Emilia of Caesarea, the mother of Sts. Basil and Gregory.

St. Emilia was married to Basil the Elder and had 10 children. 5 of them are commemorated Saints (Sts. Macrina, Basil, Peter of Sebaste, Gregory of Nyssa, and Thesobia, a deaconess). Because of this she is called the “mother of saints.”

St. Emilia and St. Macrina founded a monastery for women. Many liberated female slaves joined them, forming a convent. They all lived under one roof where they ate and prayed together. Fasting was regarded as food and poverty was regarded as riches.

In the hagiographies of the saintly siblings, great importance is attributed to the foundational upbringing that St. Emilia rendered to her children. Let us pray for all mothers in the Church, that they may continue to raise children worthy to be glorified as saints.

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