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January 15, 2018

Saints Salome of Ujarma and Perozhavra of Sivnia

Sts. Salome and Perozhavra of Georgia (Feast Day - January 15)

Saints Salome of Ujarma and Perozhavra of Sivnia were the helpers and closest companions of Saint Nina, Enlightener of Georgia. Saint Nina herself had converted them to the Christian faith from Zoroastrianism in 337.

Salome was the wife of Rev II, the son of King Mirian III of Iberia, and Perozhavra was married to the ruler of the Kartli region. Both women were queens, but they succeeded in serving Saint Nina while retaining their imperial roles. Saint Nina taught them to pray, and the women fasted regularly and performed good works. As a result of their influential social status, the two queens were able to help Saint Nina tremendously in spreading the Christian faith.

After the conversion of Kartli, with inspiration from Saint Nina and by the order of King Mirian, Saint Salome erected a cross in Ujarma in the Kakheti region.

When Saint Nina fell ill in the village of Bodbe, the queens Salome and Perozhavra stood by her bed and wept bitterly at having to part with their beloved teacher and healer. They entreated Saint Nina, who was finishing her last hours on this earth, saying, “Tell us, our Queen, how did you come to our country to free our souls, and where were you raised? Tell us how to continue your good works. You who have delivered us from bondage to the enemy, tell us, what shall we do?”

From the information that Saint Nina then related to them, Saints Salome and Perozhavra wrote The Life of Saint Nina, Enlightener of Georgia. Salome died at an unknown date about 361, around the same time that her husband died. Salome bore Rev II two sons: Saurmag II and Trdat, also known as Tiridates.[5] Through her sons, Salome and Rev II would have further descendants. The Church of Georgia commemorates them on January 15, the day following the commemoration of Saint Nina.