St. Olympia The Deaconess
She was ordained a Deaconess by Patriarch Nektarios, and served under St. John Chrysostom. When St. John was sent into exile, he advised her to remain in Constantinople, and to continue to serve the Church whatever patriarch took his place. But as soon as the holy hierarch went into exile, a fire destroyed a large part of the City, and St. John's enemies accused the holy Olympia of setting the fire. She in turn was exiled to Nikomedia, where she reposed in 408. She left instructions that her body be placed in a coffin and thrown into the sea, to be buried wherever it was cast up. The coffin came to shore at Vrochthoi and she was buried there at a church dedicated to the Apostle Thomas.
During his exile, St. John Chrysostom wrote a number
of letters to St. Olympia, seventeen of which have been preserved through the
centuries. In one he writes: 'Now I am
deeply joyful, not only because you have been delivered from sickness, but even
more because you are bearing adversities with such fortitude, calling them
trifles — a characteristic of a soul filled with power and abounding in the
rich fruits of courage. You are not only enduring misfortune with fortitude,
but are making light of it in a seemingly effortless way, rejoicing and
triumphing over it — this is a proof of the greatest wisdom.' Her relics
have continued to be a source of great miracles of healing.
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