Saint Nino

Saint Nino
St Nino icon at Svetitskhoveli, Georgia.JPG
Icon of Saint Nino at Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
Bornc. 280
Colossae (Kolaste, Kolasa)
Diedc. 332
Bodbe, Kakheti (Georgia)
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church,
Oriental Orthodoxy,
Roman Catholic Church,
Eastern Catholic Churches
Major shrineBodbe Monastery
Feast

December 15 (Roman Catholic)

January 14 (27) (Eastern Orthodox)
PatronageGeorgia

Saint Nino (Georgian: წმინდა ნინო, ts'minda nino; Armenian: Սուրբ Նունե, Surb Nune; Greek: Αγία Νίνα, Agía Nína; sometimes St. Nune or St. Ninny) Equal to the Apostles and the Enlightener of Georgia (c. 296 – c. 338 or 340) was a woman who preached Christianity in Georgia, that resulted from the Christianization of Iberia.

According to most widely traditional accounts, she belonged to a Greek-speaking Roman family from Kolastra, Cappadocia, was a relative of Saint George,[1] and came to Georgia (ancient Iberia) from Constantinople. Other sources claim she was from Rome, Jerusalem or Gaul (modern France). According to legend, she performed miraculous healings and converted the Georgian queen, Nana, and eventually the pagan king Mirian III of Iberia, who, lost in darkness and blinded on a hunting trip, found his way only after he prayed to "Nino’s God". Mirian declared Christianity the official religion (c. 327) and Nino continued her missionary activities among Georgians until her death.

Her tomb is still shown at the Bodbe Monastery in Kakheti, eastern Georgia. St. Nino has become one of the most venerated saints of the Georgian Orthodox Church and her attribute, a grapevine cross, is a symbol of Georgian Christianity.

Early life

Many sources agree that Nino was born in the small town of Colastri, in the Roman province of Cappadocia, although a smaller number of sources disagree with this. On her family and origin, the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have different traditions.

According to the Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, she was the only child of a famous family. Her father was Roman general Zabulon and her mother Sosana (Susan). On her father's side, Nino was related to St. George, and on her mother's, to the patriarch of Jerusalem, Houbnal I.

During her childhood, Nino was brought up by the nun Niofora-Sarah of Bethlehem[2]. Nino’s uncle, who was the patriarch of Jerusalem, oversaw her traditional upbringing. Nino went to Rome with the help of her uncle where she decided to preach the Christian gospel in Iberia, known to her as the resting place of Christ’s tunic. According to the legend, Nino received a vision where the Virgin Mary gave her a grapevine cross and said:

"Go to Iberia and tell there the Good Tidings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and you will find favour before the Lord; and I will be for you a shield against all visible and invisible enemies. By the strength of this cross, you will erect in that land the saving banner of faith in My beloved Son and Lord."

Saint Nino entered the Iberian Kingdom in Caucasus from the Kingdom of Armenia, where she escaped persecution at the hands of the Armenian King Tiridates III. She had belonged to a community of virgins numbering 35[3], along with martyr Hripsime, under the leadership of St. Gayane, who preached Christianity in the Armenian Kingdom. They were all, with the exception of Nino, tortured and beheaded by Tiridates. All 35 of the virgins were soon canonised by the Armenian Apostolic Church, including Nino (as St. Nune).

Contrasting with this, the Roman Catholic tradition, as narrated by Rufinus of Aquileia, says Nino was brought to Iberia not by her own will, but as a slave, and that her family tree is obscure.[4]

Other Languages
brezhoneg: Santez Kristen
čeština: Svatá Nina
Ελληνικά: Αγία Νίνα
français: Nino de Géorgie
한국어: 성녀 니노
հայերեն: Նունե
ქართული: წმინდა ნინო
Kiswahili: Nino wa Georgia
македонски: Света Нина
მარგალური: წიმინდე ნინო
Nederlands: Nina van Georgië
日本語: 聖ニノ
português: Nino da Geórgia
română: Nino
русский: Святая Нина
shqip: Shën Nina
српски / srpski: Света Нина
suomi: Pyhä Nino
українська: Свята Ніна