St. Macrina the Elder
Today’s saint is St. Macrina the Elder, a learned woman gifted with wisdom and counsel. Our knowledge of her life is limited and comes mainly from the testimony of the great Cappadocian fathers of the Church as well as from her grandchildren and the panegyric of St. Gregory of Nazianzus on St. Basil.
St. Macrina the Elder is the grandmother of St.Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Peter of Sebaste and Saint Macrina the Younger. She raised Basil. Her home was at Neocæsarea in Pontus. In her childhood she was acquainted with St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, first bishop of her native town, who served as her spiritual father. During the persecutions of Diocletian, she and her husband lived in hiding in a forest at Pontus for seven years, nearly starving several times.
Macrina was widowed and is the patron of widows and poor people.
“I am speaking of the illustrious Macrina, by whom we were taught the words of the most blessed Gregory [Thaumaturgos], which, having preserved until her time by uninterrupted tradtion, she also guarded, and she formed and molded me, still a child, in doctrines of peity.”