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The holy and righteous '''Emily''' (also ''Emmelia'' or ''Emilia''), is the mother of Saint [[Basil the Great]] and several other children who are saints of the [[Church]]. Churches of the Russian tradition keep her feast on [[January 1]], along with her son Basil. Greek churches keep her feast on [[May 30]], along with her husband Saint [[Basil the Elder]] and her mother-in-law, Saint [[Macrina the Elder]].
== Life ==
There are precious few descriptions of Saint Emily's life. She was the daughter of a [[martyr]] and the daughter-in-law of Macrina the Elder. Along with her husband Basil the Elder, she gave birth to ten children. She instilled the Orthodox faith in her children, teaching them to pray and devote their lives to the service of the [[Church]]. As a result of her zealous yet maternal instruction of her children, five of them are commemorated as [[saint]]s on the calendar of the Church: Saints [[Macrina the Younger|Macrina]], [[Basil the Great|Basil]], [[Peter of Sebaste]], [[Gregory of Nyssa]], and [[Theosebia the Deaconess|Theosebia]], a deaconess. Therefore, Saint Emily is often called without exaggeration "the mother of saints."
After her children left home, Saint Emily was persuaded by Macrina to forsake the world. Together they founded a [[monastery]] for women. Emily divided the family property among her children and freed her slaves. Retaining only some meager possessions, she and Macrina withdrew to a secluded family property in Pontus, picturesquely located on the banks of the Iris River and not far from Saint Basil's wilderness abode. A number of liberated female slaves desired to join the pair, and a [[convent]] was formed. They lived under one roof and held everything in common: They ate, worked, and prayed together, serving the Lord in with a singular purpose. They were so eager to advance in virtue that they regarded fasting as food and poverty as riches. The harmony of this model community of women was unspoiled by anger, jealousy, hatred, or pride. Indeed, as the [[Church]] sings of [[monastics]], they lived like [[angel]]s in the [[flesh]].
Living in this manner for many years, Emily reached old age. When an illness
signalled her departure from this world, her son Peter came to her side. Together with Macrina, he tended to his mother in her last days. As the oldest and the youngest, Macrina and Peter held a special place in Emily's heart.
Before committing her soul to the Lord, she raised her voice to heaven, saying, "To you, O [[Lord Jesus Christ|Lord]], I give the first fruits and the [[tithe]] of the fruit of my womb. The first fruit is my first-born daughter, and the tithe is this, my youngest son. Let these be for you a rightly acceptable [[sacrifice]], and let your [[holiness]] descend upon them!" Saint Emily was buried as she had requested, with her husband in the [[chapel]] of their estate in Annesi, where Naucratius had also been laid to rest.
This article was drawn from various sources, including the [[hagiography]] of Saints [http://www.roca.org/StMacrina/Stmacrina.htm Macrina the Elder], [http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=100003 Basil the Great], and two articles on Macrina the Younger: [http://www.roca.org/OA/141/141g.htm Macrina the Younger at ROCA.org] and [http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=102055 Macrina the Younger at OCA.org].
Links == *[http://blog.kevinbasil.com/2004/11/26/saint-emily/ Article on Saint Emily] on which this article was based. *[http://www.comeandseeicons.com/rsb02.htm Icon of St. Emily]