Monday July 19

Nun (ca. 330-379)

His life

+ Macrina was born in Caesarea, Cappadocia (present-day Turkey) and was the daughter of Saint Basil “the Elder” and Saint Emmilia; his grandmother was the famous Saint Macrine “the Elder”. His younger brothers were Saints Basil “the Great”, Saint Gregory of Nyssa and Saint Peter of Sebaste, and the famous jurist Nacurace.

+ Although her father arranged a marriage for her, Macrina refused to marry, considering Jesus Christ as her husband; she devoted herself to a life of prayer and service.

+ Macrina had a profound influence on the writings of her brothers, so much so that her brother Gregory later wrote a “life” of her older sister, presenting her as an ideal of holiness which devoted her life to study of Scripture and other writings.

+ Saint Macrine died on July 19, 379 in her family home which she had transformed into a monastery. His brother Saint Gregory of Nyssa composed his “Dialogue on the Soul and the Resurrection” to commemorate his beloved sister. In this text, even as she was dying, Macrina continued to live a life of holiness.

+ Honored as a saint immediately after her death and celebrated in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, as well as in the Anglican and Lutheran communions, she was considered a standard of virtue for Christian women.

For prayer and reflection

My whole being was restless to seek [Wisdom];

that’s why I made it my precious possession.

The Lord has rewarded me with his lips,

with a tongue to praise it.

Come next to me, you who is uneducated,

and stay in the house of instruction. ”- Sirach 51: 21-23


Merciful God, you called your servant Macrine to reveal in her life and her teaching the riches of your grace and your truth: May we, following her example, seek your wisdom and live according to her way; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

(of Holy women, holy men)

Profiles of Saints prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, SDS

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