Feast Day of the Mothers of the Three Hierarchs: February 2nd (Sunday after the Feast of the Presentation of Christ to the Temple)

The Life of the Mothers of the Three Hierarchs: Saint Nonna, Saint Emmelia and Saint Anthousa are perfect examples of Christian motherhood, and one can see the great virtue in their lives, and especially through their children, the fruits of their labours and faith…



Akathist Hymn to the Mothers of the Three Hierarchs

Apolytikion: The Three Holy Mothers of the Teachers let us honour, who bore the Hierarchs, and preached Christ, and watered them with the milk of piety, and nurtured them on the Glorious faith, training them as trees. Emmelia the Divine, and Nonna the Thrice-Blessed, and the chaste Anthousa, the astonishment of Lebanon. Come, the imitators of their struggles, let us gather together to offer hymns to them, as they intercede for us to the Trinity.   

Kontakion: The Feast of the Mothers shines forth today, come, you who love feasts, let us praise them, crying out: Rejoice Emmelia, together with Divine Nonna, and All-Praised Anthousa.

Doxastikon: A day of rejoicing has shined forth upon the Church of Christ, and She has put forth this common Feast for the exaltation of the Christian people. Come, therefore, the ranks of the Orthodox, let us honour in hymns and God-inspired melodies, the Memory of the Holy Mothers of the Three Glorious Hierarchs. For behold, Mariam who gave birth to God, offered to the Priest in the Temple her Holy and Most-Sacred Fruit, becoming the Prototype to Mothers. But these famed Mothers Emmelia, Nonna and Anthousa, bore fruit in Prayer, and offered their tears to God for their faithful children, and nursed them on the milk of piety, and offered them up as pure, spotless and fitting sacrifices. Let us cry out to them: rejoice, O chaste Mothers, the God-sent examples for their children, sons and daughters, the hope of spouses, and the fervent intercessors for the faithful, and the speedy deliverers. Therefore, entreat Christ, we Pray, on behalf of those who honour your All-Pious and Ever-Blessed Memory, and send down upon us all peace, and great mercy for our Souls.

Idiomelon: Rejoice in the Lord, O Church of Christ, at the Divine Memory today of the famed Mothers of the Three Hierarchs: Emmelia, Nonna and Anthousa. For these thrice-Blessed ones sprouted their God-planted children, and watered them faithfully with the teaching and Commandments of the Lord, and lived venerably, bearing this painful and fleeting life, proceeding then to the Heavenly Fatherland, where they ceaselessly entreat on behalf of our Souls.

Doxastikon: Today, we have been gathered to a table of spiritual rejoicing, for the common and light-bearing and all-glorious memory, of the Venerable Mothers of the Three Hierarchs: Emmelia, Nonna and Anthousa. Come, O lovers of feasts, and let us hymn their divine virtues, imitating their way [of life] in an exacting manner, their spousal faith, their nurturing of their children, and their God-pleasing manner, that the greatly Merciful God might bear for us mercy, on that terrible and awesome day, of His Righteous [Judgment].

Oikos: Behold now, the light-bearing day has dawned of the Divine Memory our Venerable Mothers. Come, you of Godly mind, rejoice now, and hasten to honour them as is right with Godly hymns, imitating their incomprehensible way of life, and their God-pleasing manner, and their virtues and struggles, their pains and sweats, for their entreated God with Prayer, and supplication, and humility, and love, patience and chastity, and with every other virtue, especially chastity and brotherly love. Therefore, with fervour let us cry out: Rejoice Emmelia, together with divine Nonna, and all-praised Anthousa.

Doxastikon: Let us sound the trumpet in the clarion of song, skipping festally, and let us rejoice in the Spirit, hymning in God-inspired hymns, the light-bearing Memory of the Holy Mothers of the Three Hierarchs, and let us say to them in praise: Rejoice, you who raised Basil the Priest, and were the tender-loving mother of ten children, Emmelia, all-praised, the prototype of the family. Rejoice, the chaste spouse of the Sacred Gregory, who bore the second Theologian, together with Caesarios and Gorgonia, Nonna, all-blessed. Rejoice, the most-chaste wife of Sekoundos, who sprouted John the Chrysostom, and educated him to be the rhetor of Lebanon, Anthousa, the divine adornment. But, O Mothers, you rejoiced in your sons and daughters like fruitful olive trees, and you kept your spousal faith, and struggled tirelessly to love your children and your brethren, and you transmitted to your children all the virtues faithfully. Intercede with the Saviour, that those who celebrate your Memory might be shown mercy upon their Souls.

The Mothers of the Three Holy Hierarchs are

Saint Emmelia – the Mother of Saint Basil the Great,

Saint Anthousa – the Mother of Saint John Chrysostom and

Saint Nonna – the Mother of Saint Gregory the Theologian.

Saint Anthousa and Saint John Chrysostom

Throughout his childhood, Saint John Chrysostom was taught much by his Holy mother Saint Anthousa, which helped him to establish his love for Christ and Holy way of life at an early age.


Saint Emmelia and Saint Basil the Great

Saint Basil the Great was born into a family of Saints! His mother Saint Emmelia was the daughter of a Martyr and the daughter-in-law of Saint Macrina the Elder. Saint Basil’s father was Saint Basil the Elder. And his siblings are Saint Macrina the Younger, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Naukratios of Mount Nitria, Saint Peter of Sebaste, Saint Theosevia, and five other sisters who lived a righteous life.


Saint Nonna and Saint Gregory the Theologian

Saint Gregory’s family are all Saints! His father was Saint Gregory Nanzianus, and his mother Saint Nonna, his brother Saint Caesarius and his sister Saint Gorgona.