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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Our Venerable Mother Macrina, Sister of Basil the Great

Our Venerable Mother Macrina, Sister of Basil the Great was a spiritual guide for her ten younger brothers who included Our Father among the Saints Basil the Great, Our Father among the Saints Gregory of Nyssa and St. Peter of Sebaste.

Biography

19 July - About 300, Our Venerable Mother Macrina was born. Our Venerable Mother Macrina was the eldest of the eleven children of Our Father among the Saints Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia. Our Father among the Saints Basil the Elder was the son of St. Marcina the Elder. St. Emmelia was the daughter of martyers.
Our Venerable Mother Macrina grew up in Caesarea. Her brothers included Our Father among the Saints Basil the Great, Our Father among the Saints Gregory of Nyssa and St. Peter of Sebaste. These three brothers were learned priests.

Our Venerable Mother Macrina was gifted with remarkable beauty and pleasant manners. Following the customs of the time, Our Venerable Mother Macrina was was promised in marriage by her father to a young man from a noble family when she was twelve. The young man died. Our Venerable Mother Macrina told her parents she wished to remain unmarried and reject many other suitors and preferred widowhood to marriage. (At that time, a formal engagement was considered as binding as marriage.)

Soon, Our Father among the Saints Basil the Elder died. Then, Our Venerable Mother Macrina lived with her mother St. Emelia and raised her younger brothers. Our Venerable Mother Macrina consecrated herself to her borthers' formation and education.

Our Father among the Saints Basil the Great found an estate for his mother, St. Emmelia, and sister, Our Venerable Mother Macrina. The estate was like a convent. Many women in the area came to live a spiritual life.

After St. Ernmelia died, Our Venerable Mother Macrina continued to live the kind of life a nun would lead. She worked hard and gave away everything the family owned except what she really needed.

In 379, her brother Our Father among the Saints Basil the Great died. She became ill later that year. Her brother, Our Father among the Saints Gregory of Nyssa who had been away for eight years, came home to visit her. They had corresponded about the soul. St. Gregory of Nyssa found Our Venerable Mother Macrina near death. The two were conversing about the soul and immortallity when Our Venerable Mother Macrina died.

Many aspects of Our Venerable Mother Macrina life can be found in the writings of her brothers, especially St. Peter of Sebaste and St. Gregory of Nyssa.

Kontakion, Troparion, Exapostilarion, and Vespers Sticheron or Doxastichon

Troparion (TONE 8)
In you, O mother Macrina, the faithful image of God shone forth, for you carried your cross and followed Christ. You taught by your deeds how to spurn the body, for it passes away, and how to value the soul, for it is immortal. Wherefore, your soul is forever in happiness with the Angels.

Kontarion (TONE 4)
Since the light of holiness shone radianatly in you, you were an example of the life of piety for all, teaching virtures to those awho cry aloud: "Hail, Macrina, glory of virgins".

More information

St. Macrina the Younger Catholic Encyclopedia


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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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