Thanks Olga for that information. Mum's baptismal name is Hionati/a but C/Hionia is what she was called. Names are so fascinating aren't they? Olga is also a Greek name although many might think it is Russian. What is the origin of your name? My husband has a niece whose name is Olga and we celebrate her nameday on the 14th of July. It is sometimes confusing with namedays because some saints are celebrated two or three times.
is not a Greek name in origin, it is the Slavic form of Helga
, a Scandinavian name that came into what is now Russia through the Vikings (also known in earlier times as Varangians) at least as far back as the ninth century. Both names mean holy
(boy, do I have a lot to live up to! :eek:) Olga
is reasonably common in northern Greece (possibly due to the Slavic Balkan influence, particularly from Serbia and Bulgaria), less common in more southern regions.
Just a little for now on St Olga:
Great-princess Olga lived in the tenth century, and was the first ruler of the emerging Russian empire (Kievan Rus') to become Christian, and she promoted the spread of Christianity in those lands. Her son Svyatoslav, who succeeded her as ruler, did not convert, but was not hostile to Christians. Olga's grandson, Vladimir, not only was baptised, but established Orthodoxy as the official religion of his realm. This event, in 988, is known as "the baptism of Russia". Sts Vladimir and Olga are ranked "equals-to-the-apostles" and "enlighteners of Russia", as are Sts Cyril and Methodius.
St Olga's feast day is, in fact, July 11, not July 14. As for saints who have more than one feastday, this is usually due to one day being for the death/repose of the saint, the other for the translation of relics, or some other noteworthy occasion. St Nicholas of Myra is a good example of this - in December, and in May. Apostle Thomas is another: October 6 (his martyrdom), June 30 (along with the other eleven apostles), and the first Sunday after Easter, known as Thomas' Sunday. But the record for the number of feastdays for one saint (not including the Mother of God) goes to St John the Baptist: six.
Where there are multiple feastdays for a given patron saint, one date is chosen as that person's nameday. Apparently it's not right to celebrate multiple namedays.