Holy Empress Irene, tonsured Xenia

Commemorated on August 13

Saint Irene lived in the XII century and was a beautiful and virtuous daughter. The Emperor Alexios Komnenos noticed her and married her to his son John, who was called Kalioannis because of his many virtues. The virtuous Empress Irene, therefore, spent generously on charitable works. She even went to poor homes by herself in order to give not only money, but also greater aid and comfort: hope in Christ. She also built homes for the aged and left large sums of money for their safety and comfort.

Later, Saint Irene experienced great sorrows. Her husband died during an expedition to Syria in 1143. Later the same thing happened to two of her four children. Then Irene wanted to seek relief from her sorrows in the monastic life. After obtaining the consent of her son Emperor Manuel, she retired to Pantokrator Monastery, where she became a nun. The Holy Empress Irene was renamed Xenia when she was tonsured into the Holy Angelic Schema.

Death found her in the Monastery, and she was buried with great simplicity, as she herself wished. Shortly before her blessed repose, she said that Empress Irene had already died long before, and now only the nun Xenia remained.


Holy Empress Irene, tonsured Xenia was last modified: November 27th, 2023 by Deacon Kirill