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July 25, 2022

The Relics of Saint Olympia the Deaconess

By St. Justin Popovich
After Saint John Chrysostom was exiled from Constantinople and traveled to Cyzicus, Saint Olympia was also sentenced to be exiled and shelter in Nicomedia. Upon learning of this, Saint John Chrysostom wrote her a letter from his imprisonment, consoling her in her troubles. Having spent a considerable amount of time in captivity and having suffered many torments, the blessed one reposed in the Lord on July 25th 408.

After her repose, while her honorable body was not yet buried, the Saint appeared in a dream to the Bishop of Nicomedia and said: "Put my body in a wooden box and cast it into the sea, so wherever the waves throw it onto the shore, there may it be buried."

The bishop did so. Carried by the waves, the coffin was washed ashore in the suburb of Brokthoi, near Constantinople, where the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle was located. The inhabitants of that place would be revealed by God about the body of Saint Olympia. They went ashore, found the coffin with the body and laid it in the church of the holy apostle. And healings were granted from all kinds of diseases.

After many years, however, in the early seventh century, barbarians attacked that place, set fire to the church, and the holy relics that remained unharmed by the fire, although the coffin was burned, were thrown into the sea; and the water became bloody at the place where the relics were thrown: thus God announced the suffering of His servant. But the faithful again retrieved the miraculous relics from the sea.

Upon learning of this, Patriarch Sergios of Constantinople sent the presbyter John and ordered him to bring the holy relics honorably to Constantinople. When the presbyter arrived at that place and raised the holy relics, a lot of blood flowed out of them: and everyone was very amazed that after two hundred years blood flowed from dry bones as if from a living body.

Those holy and miraculous relics were then transferred to the imperial city* and laid in the convent founded by Saint Olympia. And there were many miracles from her holy relics: because all kinds of diseases were healed and devils were cast out by the prayers of Saint Olympia and by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and always and through all ages. Amen.


* Today, portions of the relics of Saint Olympia are located in the Monastery of Agathonos in Fthiotida and in the Monastery of Ntaou Penteli in Attica.