St Nino

Virgin (entered heaven sometime in the 4th century)

Dear Ninny,

You think too small, my dear niece.  Did not our Lord assure us that with faith the size of a mustard seed we would be able to move entire mountains? (Cf. Matthew 17:20)  The cleansing campus culture of corrosive elements is no more daunting of a task than that. Aim high, work hard, put unlimited confidence in God, and you will see the mountains start to tremble.  After all, God wants to see college life going in a better direction even more than you do!

Perhaps reflecting on the example of today’s saint will provide some encouragement.  We don’t know much about her, to be honest, but what we do know may be able to jumpstart your worn out apostolic batteries.  She was a slave (we don’t even know where she was from originally) taken to pagan Georgia (not the State, but the country, just north of Turkey, between the Black and Caspian seas) as a young maiden.  She also happened to be a Christian. In addition to working hard and serving her masters with cheerful and pleasant docility, she impressed everyone who knew her by exemplary temperance, chastity, and piety.  When they asked her about her faith, she would simply answer, “I worship Christ as God.” One day, a mother brought her sick baby boy to the young Christian, inquiring how to treat it. Nino took the child in her arms, wrapped him in her mantle, called on the name of the Lord, commenting to the mother that Jesus was able to cure even the most desperate of cases.  When she returned the boy to his mother, he was in perfect health. The Queen of Georgia, who was suffering from a mysterious and debilitating illness, heard rumors of the miracle and sent for Nino to come to the palace and cure her. Nino refused to come. The Queen, making a great act of faith, went to the young virgin instead, and she too was cured. She told the King about it, and soon afterward he too was saved by invoking Jesus during a life-threatening hunting expedition.  Both King and Queen then publicly declared their intention to become Christians, were instructed by St Nino and sent for a bishop and priests from Constantinople as they began construction of a church.

The moral of the story is not hard to discern…  And I would say that you have received much more instruction in the faith than the uneducated slave girl.  I will join my prayers to hers, begging God to strengthen and increase your faith and trust in him, so that he can work freely through you for the conversion of the neo-pagan kingdom to which he has seen fit to send you.  

Your loving uncle, Eddy

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