Georgia celebrates Saint Nino’s Day

St. Nino, the Equal to the Prophets, is one of the most iconic Saints for Georgians., 27 Jan 2014 - 14:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Orthodox Church and all its worshipers celebrate St. Nino’s Day today.

This morning the Georgian Patriarch Ilia II delivered a Divine Liturgy at the Sioni Cathedral, a Georgian Orthodox Cathedral, to celebrate the occasion.

At the service the scroll and grapevine cross, which belonged to St. Nino and considered as a symbol of the adoption of Christianity in Georgia, was presented for believers to worship.

St. Nino, the Enlightener of Georgia and Equal to the Prophets, is one of the most iconic Saints for Georgian people. In the 4thCentury Nino preached Christianity in Georgia and in the year 327 Christianity was declared the state religion of Georgia.

According to the Apocrypha, Nino held a scroll and grapevine cross in her hand when she arrived in Georgia. The young Saint performed miraculous healings and converted the Georgian Queen Nana, who was baptized by Nino herself. Later the pagan King Mirian III of Iberia announced Christianity as the state religion.

The legend stated that on a hunting trip King Mirian was suddenly struck blind. The desperate King prayed to his pagan God in vein. He then asked "Nino’s God” to save him. As soon as he finished his prayer, light appeared and the King hastily returned to his palace in Mtskheta.

St. Nino was born in Cappadocia to a Greek-speaking Roman family at the end of the 3rd Century. She died in Georgia due to sickness.

St. Nino was buried in Bodbe Monastery in East Georgia. Orthodox worshipers believe water from the Bodbe spring has healing properties.

The Georgian Orthodox Church marks St. Nino’s Day twice a year – June 1 is the day she arrived in Georgia while January 27 is the day she died.

  Bodbe Monastery of St. Nino in Kakheti region, East Georgia.