Macrina the Elder

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Our venerable mother Saint Macrina the Elder was from a family of saints. She was the mother of St. Gregory the Elder and the grandmother of Ss. Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebaste, and Macrina the Younger. She lived in Neocaesarea in Pontus during the times of the Roman emperors Galerius and Diocletian.


Little is known of the life of Macrina the Elder. She was born about 270 or before. St. Gregory Thaumaturgus was her spiritual director and bishop of her home town during her youth. During the persecutions of Galerius and Diocletian, Macrina and her husband suffered greatly, and spending, during the Diocletian persecutions, some six or more years in hiding along the shores of the Black Sea.

She was known for her sense of justice and enduring faith. She imbued in her children and grandchildren the seeds of piety and greatly influenced their intellectual and religious training.

She died about 340. Her feast is celebrated on January 14.

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