18 July 2007

Saint Macrina the Younger

Monastic, Deaconess, and Teacher
Commemoration - July 18

Prayer - Merciful God, you called your servant Macrina to reveal in her life and her teaching the riches of your grace and truth. Mercifully grant that we, following her example, may seek after your wisdom and live according to your way. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Readings - Ecclesiasticus 51:13-22 and Matthew 11:27-30

Biography - Saint Macrina the Younger (324 - 379) was born at Caesarea, Cappadocia. Her parents were Basil the Elder and Emmelia, and her grandmother was Saint Macrina the Elder. Among her nine siblings were two of the three Cappadocian Fathers, Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa, as well as Peter of Sebaste. Her father arranged for her to marry but her fiance died before the wedding. She devoted herself to her religion, becoming a nun.

She became well known as a holy woman and instructed many young women religiously. For this she is honored as one of the most prominent nuns of the Eastern Church. She had a profound influence upon her brothers with her adherence to an ascetic ideal. Gregory of Nyssa wrote a work entitled Life of Macrina in which he describes her sancity throughout her life. In 379, Macrina died at her family's estate in Pontus, which with the help of her younger brother Peter she had turned into a monastery and convent.


All original material (C) 2007-2010 by Father Robert Lyons.

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