Saint Nina (St. Nino), Equal-to-the-Apostles, is the Patron and Enlightener of Georgia. St. Nina was born in Cappadocia in the 3rd centuryA.D. When she reached the age of 12 her family travelled to Jerusalem, where with the Patriarch's blessing, her father became a monk; her mother became a church worker; and Nina became the foster child of Nianfora, a pious elderly woman. Under the tutelage of her foster mother, Nina quickly learned the rules of faith and piety. When Nina was 14, the Theotokos came to her in a dream and urged her to preach the gospel in Georgia (then known as Iberia). She relayed this vision to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, her uncle, who gave his blessing to the young woman to preach to the Iberian people.
Nina settled in Mtskheta, the capital, where she lived in a hut near the royal gardener and his wife, Anastasia. There Nina gained a reputation for holiness both because of her daily piety and her miraculous healings. Through her miracles, both the King, Mirian, and his Queen, Nana, came to believe in Christ. Nina died in the early fourth century, after she had seenChristianity spread throughout Georgia and had, through her preaching, converted a neighboring queen, Sophia of Kakhetian and her kingdom. During her life she also learned the location of Christ’s robe, from which a cedar grew in Mtskheta’s royal gardens.The flag of Georgia, which bears the cross of St. George, is likewise associated with St. Nina due to her pious dedication and prayers for that country.
Saint Nina is commemorated on March 17/30.