By Bishop Grigorios of Mesaoria
The last day of the secular calendar year 2019 is dedicated by our Church to the Apodosis of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior and the memory of Venerable Melania of Rome.
Saint Melania was born around 380 AD in Rome and came from a noble family. Her parents got her married at the age of 14, despite the fact that she had expressed a desire to dedicate herself to Christ. After the deaths of her two children, as well as of her parents, she convinced her husband Apinianus to follow the path of exercise. They spent their immense fortune to relieve the poor, but also to build temples and monasteries. They visited the Holy Land and the renowned ascetic centers of Egypt, and received blessings and exhortations from renowned ascetics.
After the death of her husband, Venerable Melania settled in Jerusalem, where she led a large monastic sisterhood. She lived an ascetic life and prayed incessantly in a dark cave, where she eventually fell asleep after a brief illness.
Source: Church of Cyprus