Monday, July 19, 2010
Saint Macrina the Younger
Saint Macrina the Younger was born at Caesarea, Cappadocia. Her parents were Basil the Elder and Emmelia, and her grandmother was Saint Macrina the Elder. Among her nine siblings were two of the three Cappadocian Fathers, her younger brothers Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa, as well as Peter of Sebaste. Her father arranged for her to marry but her fiance died before the wedding. She devoted herself to her religion, becoming a nun.
She became well known as a holy woman and instructed many young women religiously. For this she is honored as one of the most prominent nuns of the Eastern Church. She had a profound influence upon her brothers with her adherence to an ascetic ideal. Her brother Gregory of Nyssa wrote a work entitled Life of Macrina in which he describes her sancity throughout her life. In 379, Macrina died at her family's estate in Pontus, which with the help of her younger brother Peter she had turned into a monastery and convent. Gregory of Nyssa composed a "Dialogue on the Soul and Resurrection" to commemorate Macrina.