Saint Nonnus

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Saint Nonnus
Saint pelagia.jpg
Saint Nonnus prays for Saint Pelagia amongst her courtesans, in a 14th-century manuscript

According to Christian tradition, Saint Nonnus was the bishop of Edessa, Mesopotamia who converted Saint Pelagia, a former courtesan, through his preaching and prayer. According to James, a deacon of the church of Heliopolis, Nonnus "was a very great man, a perfect monk, who, by reason of his virtuous life, was taken from his Monastery of Tabenna and made a bishop [of Heliopolis]."[1]


The name or title Nonnus was common in that time and place, as it was an Egyptian title meaning saint.[2]) It can also be spelled Nennos or Ninos, and was a common name in the Assyrian/Syriac culture.


Apart from the legend regarding Saint Pelagia, history records that Nonnus is known to have been a bishop of Edessa and is recorded as having attended the Council of Chalcedon in 451.[3]


  1. ^ Jacobus Diaconus. "The Life of Our Holy Mother Pelagia the Nun, Who Was Once a Harlot". 
  2. ^ Wace, Henry (ed.). "Nonnus (2)". Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century.  (entry about Nonnus of Panopolis, author of Dionysiaca)
  3. ^ Gibson, Mary Lou (October 2006). "So who was St. Pelagia the Penitent?". Catholic Spirit (Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin).