Saturday, January 13, 2018

Walking Down Memory Lane with St. Nina, "Mother of Georgia"

Tonight, I've been taking a walk down memory lane, looking back at how we've observed St. Nina's feast day since our family re-committed to celebrating each of our Name Days and enjoyed our first St. Nina family feast in 2013

That year, our annual celebrations kicked off in a rather smoky kitchen, because, sometimes, new recipes don't cook up quite the way you expect them to do so.

Still, we enjoyed learning more about St. Nina and tasting dishes inspired by the cuisine of the Republic of Georgia.

Since, then, we've continued to mark 
St. Nina's feast day with prayers, food, and celebration each year.

In 2014, we did so as a family.

First, though, the children practiced practical life skills, climbing up to the kitchen sink... work as a team, freeing delicious pomegranate seeds.

One also concentrated on slicing cucumbers...

.... to make a traditional Georgian salad,

... while another sliced and dicde mushrooms...

.... for a Georgian-inspired dish.

Still, a third happily chopped walnuts... candy and enjoy.

Then, they all helped prepare traditional corn bread...

...bean dishes, and more,

which all resulted in a full spread Georgian-inspired dishes to enjoy together...

...after prayer, finding where St. Nina may have been born and where she traveled to...

... and giving our own Nina her very own homemade "book" about St. Nina, because she had been asking why we don't have any books about her name saint. 

{Disclosure: Some of the links that follow are affiliate ones.  Should you click through them and make any purchase, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you.}

We have since found two published children's books for our girl:

Saints Lives and Illuminations contains a St. Nina page...

...and The Life of Saint Nina is an entire rhyming children's book about her!

In 2015, we had a lot going on right before St. Nina's feast day and could not do much preparation, but that did not keep us from celebrating our girl's beloved name saint.

We just had to get a little creative about food choices, which resulted in us making a makeshift "St. Nina Cross" our of gluten-free toast...

... to eat with preserves (popular in Georgia) and sides of grapes (because St. Nina had a grapevine cross) and salad with walnuts and pomegranates (because both of these are common in Georgian cuisine).

A simple meal served on special dishes made everyone happy!

In 2016, we again found ourselves scrambling, trying to fit a feast day celebration in between pre-scheduled commitments, so we went even simpler - and delectably sweet!

You can never go wrong with sundaes made with blue and red berries (since St. Nina is often depicted in these colors) and walnuts (since St. Nina is considered the "mother of Georgia", having converted many there to Christianity, and walnuts are popular in Georgian cuisine.)

Yes, our sundaes were a hit!

Then, last year, in 2017, we had to go even simpler for St Nina's Day.

Nana was quite ill, so we traveled to see her one last time, and, thus, our typically festive St. Nina Day observances were put on hold.  Basically, we recalled the day, with a simple, "It's your Name Day," and prayer with our girl and allowed her to indulge in a rare treat of potato chips (because salty fried potatoes are common in the Republic of Georgia) as a happy "high" on an otherwise mostly low day when we were making prayerful and emotional goodbyes to our Nana.  

Nana passed but a week later  -  God rest her soul - and we would appreciate continued prayers as the first anniversary of her passing nears.  Thank you.

We also invite you to join us in praying for the intercession of St. Nina:

St. Nina, like you, 
may we endure hardships with faith, 
be a healing balm to others, spiritually and physically,
and glorify God in all we do and say,
growing in holiness.
Also like you, may we have a transforming effect on others through our witness. 
St. Nina, please intercede for us 
that God may save our souls.

If you would like to know more about St. Nina, visit our St. Nina Name Day post from 2013, where you'll find more information and links and, also, view this brief video, which offers a summary of St. Nina's life:

We'd love to hear your favorite prayers, resources, recipes, and traditions related to St. Nina and wish you a blessed ad beautiful St. Nina feast day.

St. Nina, pray for us.


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