Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Saint for Today

**NOTE: I just found out today that St. Macrina is one of the 140 saints standing on top of the colonnade in St. Peter's square. She stands to the right of St. Dominic himself (who is next to St. Francis). Pretty cool, huh?

January 14
St. Macrina

Grandmother of Saint Basil the Great, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Peter of Sebaste, and Saint Macrina the Younger, and apparently raised Basil. Spiritual student of Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus. She and her husband lived in hiding in a forest at Pontus for seven years during the persecution of Diocletian, nearly starving several times. Widowed.

On January 2, we celebrated the feast of a grandchild of today's saint. St. Basil the Great, who was born around 329, came from a family of saints. Macrina, his father's mother, was one of his favorites. She seems to have raised Basil. As an adult, he praised his grandmother for all the good she had done for him. He especially thanked her openly for having taught him to love the Christian faith from the time he was very small.
Macrina and her husband learned the high price of being true to their Christian beliefs. During one of the Roman persecutions of Galerius and Maximinus, Basil's grandparents were forced into hiding. They found refuge in the forest near their home. Somehow they managed to escape their persecutors. They were always hungry and afraid, but they would not give up their faith. Instead, they patiently waited and prayed for the persecution to end. They hunted for food and ate the wild vegetation and somehow survived. This persecution lasted seven years. St. Gregory Nazianzen, who shares Basil's feast day on January 2, recorded these few details.
During another persecution, Macrina and her husband had all their property and belongings taken from them. They were left with nothing but their faith and trust in God's care for them.
St. Macrina survived her husband but the exact year of each of their deaths is not recorded. It is believed that Macrina died around 340. Her grandchild, Basil, died in 379.

No comments: