Saint Nicarete of Constantinople

Also known as

  • Nicarete of Nicomedia
  • Niceras of….
  • Nikarete of….
  • Nicaretes of….

Memorial

Profile

Wealthy Byzantine noble woman who lived in Constantinople in private vows of chastity, and used her position to help the poor and sick. Close friend of Saint John Chrysostom, and was exiled with him. When the soldiers came to escort her from the city, and steal any money or jewels she was taking on the trip, they found she had nothing left – she had already given all her possessions to the poor.

Born

  • 4th century Nicomedia, Bithynia, Asia Minor (modern Izmit, Turkey)

Died

  • c.405 of natural causes

Canonized

Additional Information

Readings

Among the zealous men and excellent women who adopted this latter measure was Nicarete, a lady of Bithynia. She belonged to a noted family of the nobility, and was celebrated on account of her perpetual virginity and her virtuous life. She was the most modest of all the zealous women that we have ever known, and was well ordered in manner and speech and in behavior, and throughout her life she invariably preferred the service of God to all earthly considerations. She showed herself capable of enduring with courage and thought the sudden reversals of adverse affairs; she saw herself unjustly despoiled of the greater part of her ample patrimony without manifesting any indignation, and managed the little that remained to her with so much economy, that although she was advanced in age, she contrived to supply all the wants of her household, and to contribute largely to others.

Since she loved a humane spirit, she also prepared a variety of remedies for the needs of the sick poor, and she frequently succeeded in curing patients who had derived no benefit from the skill of the customary physicians. With a devout strength which assisted her in reaching the best results, she closed her lips. To sum up all in a few words, we have never known a devoted woman endowed with such manners, gravity, and every other virtue. Although she was so extraordinary, she concealed the greater part of her nature and deeds; for by modesty of character and philosophy she was always studious of concealment. She would not accept of the office of deaconess, nor of instructress of the virgins consecrated to the service of the Church, because she accounted herself unworthy, although the honor was frequently pressed upon her by John.

- from Ecclesiastical History, chapter 23, by Hermias Sozomen, translated by Chester D Hartranft

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Nicarete of Constantinople“. Saints.SQPN.com. 28 December 2013. Web. 2 September 2014. <>