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Saint Macrina the Younger

When she awoke from sleep, or was about to commence any work, or when she went to sleep, the words of David were on her lips, as a good companion.

Saint Macrina the Younger was a nun and the older brother of Saint Gregory of Nyssa.

Saint Macrina was born at Caesarea, Cappadocia. Her father was Saint Basil the Elder and her mother Saint Emmelia (known as the Mother of Saints because she was the mother of Saint Macrina, Saint Peter of Sebaste, Saint Gregory of Nyssa and Saint Naucratius). There were nine children in total including two of the three Cappadocian Fathers - Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Her father originally arraigned a marriage for Saint Macrina but the man she was intended to marry died before the date of the marriage. Believing it not appropriate to marry another man, Saint Macrina instead believed Christ to be her eternal bridegroom and devoted herself to Christianity as a nun.

She lived and committed herself to an ascetic ideal and much of what we know about her humble and religious life came from the Life of Macrina, a writing composed by Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Anytime spent outside of prayer was given to the education of her younger brother Peter. Alongside Peter she turned her family's estate in Pontus into a monastery and convent. After her death, on July 19th, 379, Saint Gregory composed a "Dialogue on the Soul and Resurrection" entitled ta Makrinia to commemorate her. To the end she embodied a life of sanctity and refused a bed, instead choosing to lay on the ground as she died clutching a crucifix.

Today Saint Macrina is celebrated with a feast day on July 19th.

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