Matrones
Community ID
 
4999
 
Town
 
Constantinople
 
Modern Location
 
Severiana
 
Foundation Information
 

NULL of Perge founded the convent of Matrones.

 
First Members
 

According to Matrona's hagiography, the first members of the monastery were freedwomen with whom Matrona had forged a relationship while she was in Beirut.

 
Population Counts
 

At the foundation of the monastery, the population was composed of 8 sisters. It soon grew to 12 and increased from there.

 
Other Ecclesiastical Relations
 

Bassianos acted as the ultimate authority over the Matrones monastery. Matrona and Bassianos were not related, as in the case of most leaders of early double monasteries, and they were possibly the first abbot and abbess in the city to establish close ties. Bassianos' monastery and the Matrones monastery were spiritually joined but physically separate.

Although Matrona's community was not completely independent, Matrona worked for the monastery's independence in regards to financial, institutional, and disciplinary arrangements. For example, Matrona rejected the woolen girdles and veils of most nuns of Constantinople and required the nuns of Matrones to dress in men's girdles that were wide, dark, and made of leather and men's white cloaks (The Life of St. Matrona of Perge, 51). Here she attempted to emulate the standards set by Bassianos and other monastic leaders of her day.

According to the chronicler Theophanes (d. 818), Anastasios I (491-518) and his patriarch Makedonios II (496-511) pressured a number of monasteries to follow their non-Chalcedonian policies; Matrones and Bassianos' monastery were among these. Matrona refused to comply, and Makedonios left her unyielding monastery in peace.

 
Visitations
 

Matrona's vita claims that, while head of Matrones, Matrona was visited by the Emperor Leo, the Empress Verina, and Euphemia the wife of the emperor of Rome Anthemius (467-472) (ch. 32-33).

 
Patrons/Benefactors
 

Antiochene, the wife of Sphorakios (consul 452), donated land at Severiana on which Matrones could be constructed. The site had formerly been a rose garden. Matrona appears to have been the legal owner of the property (The Life of St. Matrona of Perge, ch. 36-7).

Athanasia, a weathly woman of Constantinople, longed to separate from her husband and follow in Matrona's footsteps. At first, Matrona would not accept Athanasia into her convent, but Athanasia did make Matrona the gaurdian of her property, and eventually Athanasia did enter Matrones (The Life of St. Matrona of Perge, ch. 45, 48).

 
Architecture & Archaeology
 

The vita of Matrona describes the building in which the Matrones lived. Matrona oversaw the construction of a wall around the monastery. The monastery itself was three stories. The first story functioned as a charnel house for deceased sisters. The second story housed a winter chapel and the third story housed a summer chapel (ch. 46).