Saint Emily of Caesarea, the mother of Saints, (330-375, May 30)

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 saints on the calendar of the Church: Saints Macrina, Basil, Peter of Sebaste, Gregory of Nyssa, and Theosebia, a deaconess. Therefore, Saint Emily is often called without exaggeration “the mother of saints.”

O Holy Saint Emily, mother of Saints, ye that stand before the throne of the Most High, intercede fervently for our souls.

St Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne (c. 639 – 25 May, 709)

St Aldhelm’s merits as a scholar were early recognised in his own country as shown by the encomium of Bede (Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum 5.18), who speaks of him as a wonder of erudition. In his capacity as bishop, he displayed a great deal of energy, included going into public places where he would sing hymns and passages from the gospels interspersed with bits of clowning to draw attention to his message. Due to his sanctity, his biographers relate miracles worked during his lifetime and at his shrine. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.