Thursday, 19 July 2018

# Saints

Saint Macrina the Younger

Image: St. Macrina the Younger (fresco in Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev)

The 19th of July is the feast day of Saint Macrina the Younger (c. 330– 19 July 379).

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

St. Macrina the Younger, b. about 330; d. 379. She was the eldest child of Basil and the Elder Emmelia, the granddaughter of St. Macrina the Elder, and the sister of the Cappadocian Fathers, Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa. The last-mentioned has left us a biography of his sister in the form of a panegyric (“Vita Macrinæ Junioris” in P. G., XLVI, 960 sq.). She received an excellent intellectual training, though one based more on the study of Holy Writ than on that of profane literature. When she was but twelve years old, her father had already arranged a marriage for her with a young advocate of excellent family. Soon afterwards, however, her affianced husband died suddenly, and Macrina resolved to devote herself to a life of perpetual virginity and the pursuit of Christian perfection. She exercised great influence over the religious training of her younger brothers, especially St. Peter, afterwards Bishop of Sebaste, and through her St. Gregory received the greatest intellectual stimulation. On the death of their father, Basil took her, with their mother, to a family estate on the River Iris, in Pontus. Here, with their servants and other companions, they led a life of retirement, consecrating themselves to God. Strict asceticism, zealous meditation on the truths of Christianity, and prayer were the chief concerns of this community. Not only the brothers of St. Macrina, but also St. Gregory of Nazianzus and Eustathius of Sebaste were associated with this pious circle and were there stimulated to make still further advances towards Christian perfection. After the death of her mother Emmelia, Macrina became the head of this community, in which the truth of the earnest Christian life matured so gloriously. On his return from a synod at Antioch, towards the end of 379, Gregory of Nyasa visited his deeply venerated sister, and found her grievously ill. In pious discourse, the brother and sister spoke of the life beyond and of the meeting in heaven. Soon afterwards Macrina passed blissfully to her reward. Gregory composed a “Dialogue on the Soul and Resurrection” (περὶ ψυχῆς καὶ ἀναστάσεως), treating of his pious discourse with his dying sister. In this, Macrina appears as teacher, and treats of the soul, death, the resurrection, and the restoration of all things. Hence, the title of the work, τὰ Μακρίνια (P.G., XLVI, 12 sq.). Her feast be celebrated 19 July.

Acta SS., Jan I, 952 sq; July. IV, 589 sq.; Allard, St-Basile (Paris, 1899); Bouty, Sainte Macrine in Revus Augustinienne (July, 1902), 265-88.

J. P. Kirsch.

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Our Lady of Medjugorje

December 2, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, when you come to me, as to a mother, with a pure and open heart, know that I am listening to you, encouraging you, consoling you, and above all, interceding for you with my Son. I know that you desire to have a strong faith and to express it in the right way. What my Son asks of you is to have a sincere, strong and deep faith - then every way in which you express it is proper. Faith is a most wonderful mystery which is kept in the heart. It is between the Heavenly Father and all of His children; it is recognized by the fruits and by the love which one has towards all of God's creatures. Apostles of my love, my children, have trust in my Son. Help all of my children to come to know His love. You are my hope - you who strive to sincerely love my Son. In the name of love, for your salvation, according to the will of the Heavenly Father and through my Son, I am here among you. Apostles of my love, along with prayer and sacrifice, may your hearts be illuminated with the love and the light of my Son. May that light and love illuminate all those whom you meet and bring them back to my Son. I am with you. In a special way, I am alongside your shepherds. With my motherly love I illuminate and encourage them, that with the hands blessed by my Son, they may bless the entire world. Thank you.

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