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Macrina the Younger

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Macrina Younger


July 19, 379 AD, Pontus

Macrina the Younger Macrina 1 ajpg

Venerated in
Eastern Orthodox ChurchOriental OrthodoxyRoman Catholic ChurchAnglican CommunionLutheranism

July 19June 14 (with Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory Nazianzus; Lutheranism)

Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebaste, Naucratius

Emmelia of Caesarea, Basil the Elder

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Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa

1907 Thánh Macrina the Younger

Saint Macrina the Younger (c. 330– 19 July 379) was a nun in the Early Christian Church and is a prominent saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Church. Her younger brother, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, wrote about her life focusing heavily on her virginity and asceticism.


Macrina the Younger St Macrina the Younger ca 327379 Classical Christianity


Macrina the Younger Set Apart In Christ St Macrina39s Deathbed Prayer

Macrina 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 and the famous Christian jurist Naucratius. Her father arranged for her to marry but her fiance died before the wedding. After having been betrothed to her fiance, Macrina did not believe it was appropriate to marry another man, but saw Christ as her eternal bridegroom. Instead, she devoted herself to her religion, becoming a nun.

Macrina the Younger wwwcatholicorgfilesimagessaints714jpg

Macrina had a profound influence upon her brothers and her mother with her adherence to an ascetic ideal. Her brother Gregory of Nyssa wrote a work entitled Life of Macrina in which he describes her sanctity throughout her life. Macrina lived a chaste and humble life, devoting her time to prayer and the spiritual education of her younger brother, Peter. Gregory presents her as one who consciously rejected all Classical education, choosing instead devoted study of Scripture and other sacred writings.

Macrina the Younger St Macrina The Younger Shrine Tower

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" (peri psyches kai anastaseos), entitled ta Makrinia (P.G. XLVI, 12 sq.), to commemorate Macrina, in which Gregory purports to describe the conversation he had with Macrina on her deathbed, in a literary form modelled on Plato's Phaedo. Even on her deathbed, Macrina continued to live a life of sanctity, as she refused a bed, and instead chose to lie on the ground. Her feast day is the 19 July.

Saint Macrina is significant in that her brother, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, was able to set standards for being a holy Early Christian woman. He believed that virginity reflected the “radiant purity of God.”


Universalists, including Hosea Ballou and J. W. Hanson, claim Macrina as a Universalist in her teachings, citing works which they believe demonstrate Macrina's belief that the wicked would all eventually confess Christ.


  • Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Macrina, London, 2012. ISBN 978-1-78336-017-8
  • References

    Macrina the Younger Wikipedia

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