17 January 2008

Saint Macarius of Egypt

Today the Church commemorates Saint Macarius of Egypt. Macarius was born in Upper Egypt around the year 300. At a young age, Macarius was forced to get married against his will. Thus, he pretended to be sick and ask for his parents' permission to go to the wilderness to relax. At his return, he found that his wife had died, and shortly after, his parents departed as well. Macarius subsequently distributed all his money among the poor and needy. Seeing his virtues, the people of his village brought him to the bishop of Ashmoun who ordained him as a presbyter.

A while later, a pregnant woman accused him of having defiled her. Macarius did not attempt to defend himself, and accepted the accusation in silence. However, when the woman's delivery drew near, her labor became exceedingly difficult. She did not manage to give birth until she confessed Macarius' innocence. A multitude of people then came asking for his forgiveness, but he fled to the Nitrian Desert to escape all mundane glory.

While at the desert, he visited Anthony the Great and learned from him the laws and rules of monasticism. For a brief period of time, Macarius was banished to an island in the Nile by the Emperor Valens, along with Saint Macarius of Alexandria, during a dispute over the doctrine of the Nicene Creed. When he returned to the Scetic Desert at the age of forty, he presided over its monastic community for the rest of his life.


Prayer of the Day

Gracious God, your grace kindled the fire of your love within Saint Macarius of Egypt, allowing him to become a bright light for your Church. Fill us with the same spirit of discipline and love, and allow us to walk before you always as children of light. We make our prayer through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

1 comments:

Desert Pilgrim January 18, 2008 at 4:59 PM  

One of my favorite saints. Your blog is looking very nice, love all the icons and the way you have set it up.

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