Holy Spirit Interactive
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Inside HSI Kids


St. Macrina

Feast Day: July 19
Born: (around) 327 :: Died: 379

St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia had ten children. They raised their family at Caesarea in Cappadocia. Their first child, Macrina, was named after her grandmother St. Macrina (the Elder). Emmelia taught Macrina to read and write at a very young age.

As was the custom in those days, when Macrina was twelve, she was engaged to a young lawyer. But he died before the wedding and Macrina told her parents she wished to remain unmarried.

Macrina was the big sister to nine brothers and sisters. Along with her parents and herself, three of her brothers are saints. St. Basil the Great (January 2), St. Peter of Sebaste and St. Gregory of Nyssa were all bishops.

Macrina helped raise the children and they loved her. The youngest, St. Peter of Sebaste who was born after their father died, remembers her especially with gratitude for the love and care he received as a baby.

The children grew up and St. Basil the Great found an estate for his mother and Macrina in Pontus. It was like a convent and many women in the area came to live a holy life there. After St. Emmelia died, Macrina continued to live like a nun. She worked hard and gave away everything the family owned except what she really needed.

Her brother Basil died in 379 and a year later Macrina too, became ill. Her brother, St. Gregory of Nyssa, who had been away for eight years, came home to visit her. He found Macrina frail and weak, resting on two boards. And a few hours later, she died.

St. Gregory, the local bishop and two priests carried Macrina's coffin to the grave. The funeral procession was long and many people wept. St. Gregory wrote about Macrina and that is how the beauty of her life became known.

Reflection: How do I want my family to remember me? How can I show my love and support to them?

E-mail this page to a friend