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Pelagia
(5th - 6th cent.) Syria (now Turkey)

Saint Pelagia

Saint - Feast day: June 9

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Pelagia was an actress, a notoriously "evil" and despised profession in the early days of the church. She practised her profession in Antioch under the name of Margaret until she came to repent of her evil ways by the preaching of St. Nonnus.

Saint PelagiaSince at that time it was impossible to allow a member of the acting profession to be baptised until the very point of death, Pelagia was only permitted, after many dramatic protestations of her sincerity, to be put under the care of the deaconess Romana whose duties consisted of taking care of catechumens.

Pelagia gave away all her finery and treasures and was ultimately baptised, confirmed and allowed to receive communion. She then slipped away from Antioch dressed as a male monk, took the name of Pelagios, and went to Jerusalem where she built herself a hermitage on the Mount of Olives. She lived there for three years until her death.

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