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Melania the Younger, Nun of Rome

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December 31

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Saint Melania the Younger, who was born in 388, was the grand-daughter of Saint Melania the Elder (see June 8). Her father Publicola was an Eparch of Rome. She was joined in wedlock to a husband and became the mother of two children, both of which she lost shortly thereafter. Thus, having agreed with her husband to pass the rest of their lives in abstinence and chastity, and taking her mother Albina with her, she went off to Africa. They ransomed 8,000 captives; furthermore, they built two monasteries - one for men and one for women - in the city of Tagaste, which was in the district of Tunis. After seven years they moved to Jerusalem. Thereafter Melania shut herself up in a small and narrow hermitage by the Mount of Olives, and wearing away her body with fasting and vigil, she reposed in 434.

Because of the Apodosis of the Feast of the Nativity on the 31st of this month, the hymns of Saint Melania the Younger are transferred to December 30th along with the Martyr Anysia.

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Mother. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Melania, your soul rejoices with the angels.

Kontakion in the Third Tone

As a doubly-shining lamp * of truly mystical brightness * do ye shine upon the Church * like a high-towering beacon: * thou with beams of martyr's glory, * O Anysia; * thou with rays of great ascetic deeds, O Melania. * Now together ye are honoured * by Christ your Bridegroom * for your travails in His Name.