December 15: St. Nino
Nino was a Christian girl who lived in the fourth century. She was captured and carried off to Iberia as a slave. In that pagan country, her goodness and purity made a great impression on the people. Noticing how much she prayed, they asked her about her religion. The simple answer she gave them was that she adored Jesus Christ as God.
God chose this pure, devout slave-girl to bring Christianity to Iberia. One day, a mother brought her sick child to Nino, asking her to suggest a cure. The saint wrapped the baby in her cloak. Then she told the mother that Jesus Christ can cure the worst cases of sickness. She handed the child back and the mother saw that her child was completely cured. The queen of Iberia learned of this miracle. Since she herself was sick, she went to the saint. When she, too, was healed, she tried to thank the Christian girl. However, Nino said: "It is Christ's work, not mine. And he is the Son of God who made the world."
The queen let the king know the whole story of her cure. She repeated to her husband what the slave-girl had said of Jesus Christ. Shortly after this, the king got lost in a fog while out hunting. Then he remembered what his wife had told him. He said that if Jesus Christ would lead him safely home, he would believe in him. At once, the fog lifted, and the king was true to his promise.
St. Nino herself taught the king and queen the truths of Christianity. They gave her permission to teach the people. Meanwhile, the king began building a Christian church. Then he sent messengers to the Christian emperor, Constantine, to tell him of his conversion. He asked the emperor to send bishops and priests to Iberia.
So it was that a poor slave brought a whole country into the Church.
Through her life, Nino gives witness that God is able to draw good from even the most difficult circumstances.