Although raised as a Christian, Nonna married Gregory, who belonged
to the Hypsistarian sect. Nonetheless, this "mixed marriage"
resulted in his conversion. Furthermore, St. Nonna is known for
raising one of the most saintly families in Christian history.
Nonna, Gregory, and their three children: Gregory, Gorgonia, and
Caesarius all became saints. St. Gregory, the eldest child became
Bishop of Nazianzus and a Doctor of the Church. The second child,
St. Gorgonia married and raised a family of three children. The
youngest child, St. Caesarius, became a physician while choosing
to live in virtuous poverty.
St. Nonna unfortunately had to endure the death of her two grown
up children, Gorgonia and Caesarius. Despite such heartbreak,
St. Nonna still cared for others (widows, orphans, and the unfortunate)
while still being a model for homemakers. St. Gregory describes
his mother as having excelled in both piety and in managing the
household. He put it this way:
"While some women excel in the management of their households
and others in piety---for it is difficult to achieve both---she
nevertheless surpassed all in both, because she was pre-eminent
in each and because she alone combined the two. She increased
the resources of her household by her care and practical foresight
according to the standards and norms laid down by Solomon for
the valiant woman. She devoted herself to God and divine things
as though she were completely removed from household cares. In
no wise, however, did she neglect one duty in fulfilling the other;
rather, she performed both more effectively by making one support
A few months after her husband passed away, Nonna died in church
while participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.