Pelagia is a female Greek name which used to be very common in Greece, especially in the Cyclades islands and the Islands of the Ionian Sea.

Pelagia comes from the Greek word “pelagos”, which means the “open sea” and therefore it was a rather appropriate name for women born on the Greek islands.

Pelagia is an ancient Greek name, but it became more popular during the Byzantine Era.

greek female name pelagia

Sound of name Pelagia: Pe-la-yeé-a

Male Version of name Pelagia: N/A

Nameday of Pelagia: mainly October 8th, other dates too like May 5 and July 23

Origin of name Pelagia – Agia Pelagia

We already mentioned the etymology of name Pelagia; the name is included in the Greek Orthodox Calendar associated with Agia Pelagia, a woman who lived in Tarsus during the reign of Emperor Diocletian.

One night while sleeping, Pelagia dreamt of the local Bishop who was encouraging her to be baptized Christian, and so she did. She sold her clothes to the poor people and got dressed in very simple dresses; when her mother saw her she was very upset and tried to persuade her to reject the new religion but Pelagia denied.

Pelagia was engaged to Diocletian’s son, who also found out about the baptism and asked Pelagia to reject Christians, but again she denied. Then her fiance killed himself. When Diocletian found out he had Pelagia arrested; he tortured her and killed her.

The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the memory and nameday of Pelagia on May 5th.

There is a second Pelagia in the Greek Orthodox Calendar. She is “Blessed Pelagia”, a woman who lived in Antiocheia. She was a prostitute who found Christ and was baptized a Christian, despite the persecutions from the local rulers. She also suffered a terrible death and was declared Blessed by the Greek Orthodox Church that celebrates her memory on October 8th.

There are also references for another Pelagia,  who lived on the island of Tinos. Her memory is celebrated on July 23.

It seems that the name Pelagia used to be quite popular in different regions of Greece, therefore, you might find women named Pelagia celebrating their nameday on different dates, according to local traditions. It is recommended to ask your friend Pelagia when she has her nameday, so that you do not miss the chance to wish for her nameday on the right date!

Nicknames deriving from name Pelagia

Pelagia doesn’t have many nicknames or diminutives; the only ones used are Gia, Agi, Pelagitsa, Lia, Pela.

The Names’ Fairy reveals the meaning of name Pelagia

Pelagia is a wise and strong woman, ready to deal with the misfortunes of life. She is a capable and very intelligent woman, dependable but sort of introverted.

4 thoughts on “Pelagia”

  1. I have always thought my name meant mermaid of the sea but so many people say it means from the sea or part of the sea it would be nice to find the true meaning as I was named after my great grandmother.

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