The Orthodox Homeschool Conference, to be held this year on March 27-30, is named for the holy and righteous St. Emmelia. Who was St. Emmelia? She was the mother of ten children, including St. Basil the Great and four other children who later became saints of the Church: Thus it is obvious that she instilled the Orthodox faith in her children, teaching them to pray and devote their lives to the service of the Church and this is why it is this saint we choose to commemorate by name and association with the St. Emilia Orthodox Homeschool Conference.
After Emmelia's children had all left home, Emmelia was persuaded by Macrina, her daughter to forsake the world. The two women founded a monastery (for women). Emmelia divided her property and possessions among her children. Retaining only a few meager possessions, she and Macrina traveled to Pontus and took up residence on a family property there on the banks of the Iris River. Several liberated female slaves joined the pair, and a convent was formed. Living under one roof, the women of the convent held everything in common. They ate, worked, and prayed together regarding fasting as food and poverty as riches, living together in harmony
Living in this manner for many years, Emilia reached old age. When illness struck Emmelia , her son Peter came to attend her in her last days. Before she passed, she spoke aloud to the Heavens saying, "To you, O Lord, I give the first fruits and the tithe of the fruit of my womb. The first fruit is my first-born daughter, and the tithe is this, my youngest son. Let these be for you a rightly acceptable sacrifice and let your holiness descend upon them!"
The Churches of the Russian tradition keep her feast on January 3 as well as her son Basil. The Greek churches keep her feast on May 30, along with her husband Saint Basil the Elder and her mother-in-law, Saint Macrina the Elder.
Here is a St Emmelia 2014 flyer002 for the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference. Our family has been fortunate enough to attend every year but one (due to the due date of my youngest child) of the St. Emmelia conferences held at Anticohian Villiage in Ligonier Pennsylvania. This year's speakers include Dr. Christopher Veniamen. Andrew Kern, Barbara Shukin, Lori Peterson Branch, Robert and Angela Weaver, Monica Klepac, and Donna Smith.
If you are an Orthodox Homeschooling family and have never attended this conference before, now is the time to start! Orthodox families from all over our nation come together in the beautiful mountains of Ligonier, Pennsylvania (I should know , I grew up near there!) and find fellowship and strength in the joining together of other homeschool families as we share information and worship together.
See Antiochianvilliage.org for more information!