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St. Macrina | The Teacher & Monastic

She was born in Cappadocia; the eldest of ten children who was engaged to a young lawyer but after his sudden death, she refused all suitors and devoted herself to the spiritual life.

She was a disciple of St. Gregory the wonder-worker and was a woman of outstanding piety. After helping to educate her siblings, she retired with her widowed mother and other women to a communal life that she founded.

She alluded her brothers SS. Basil the Great and Gregory bishop of Nyssa to leave their worldly service and devote their lives to God. At her repose, nothing was found to cover her body when it was carried to the grave but her old hood and coarse veil.

On her deathbed, St. Gregory of Nyssa recorded her prayer in her biography: “O God, Eternal, to Whom I have been attached from my mother’s womb, Whom my soul has loved with all its strength, to Whom I have dedicated both my flesh and my soul from my youth up until now – do Thou give me an angel of light to conduct me to the place of refreshment, where is the water of rest, in the bosom of the holy Fathers.”

A hymn dedicated on her behalf, says: “Since the light of righteousness shone brightly in you, you were an example of the life of piety for all, teaching the virtues to them that cry: ‘Rejoice, Macrina, the boast of virginity.’”

In this icon, St. Macrina is seated as the elder and the great teacher amongst her brothers: SS. Basil the Great, Gregory bishop of Nyssa, and Peter bishop of Sebastia.

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05. May, 2010

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