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Macarius the Great

518 bytes added, 21:36, February 16, 2015
Added a quote about him. And St Macarius should not be presented as OO. First, he was not, and second, OrthodoxWiki is an Eastern Orthodox project.
[[Image:AbbaMacariusTheGreat.jpg|thumb|right|Coptic icon of St. Macarius the Great (295-392 A.D.)]]
[[Image:St Macarius the Great with Cherub.jpg‎|right|thumb|St. Macarius the Great with a [[Cherubim]].]]
[[Image:AbbaMacariusTheGreat.jpg|thumb|right|Coptic icon of St. Macarius the Great]]St. Abba '''Macarius the Great''' (295-392 A.D.; also known as '''Macarius the Egyptianof Egypt''') was among the most influential authoritative [[Desert Fathers]] of Egypt, and a disciple of St. [[Anthony the Great]]. The [[CopticEastern Orthodox Church]] Orthodox Church celebrates his [[feast day]] on [[February 1]] ([[January 19]] by Julian Calendar). The Coptic Church at [[April 5]] ([[Coptic Calendar|Baramhat 27]]) , and the return of his body to his [[monastery]] at Scetis on [[August 25]] ([[Coptic Calendar|Mesra 19]]). The day appointed for his feast in Eastern Orthodoxy is [[January 19]], while the [[Roman Catholic]] Church celebrates it four days earlier on [[January 15]].
"Fifty spiritual homilies" of St. Macarius of Egypt is an authoritative patristic source. "The Homilies are well described as “spiritual” Homilies. That is their purpose and their character. They are not dogmatic; they are not controversial; they are not expository; they are not concerned with the politics or the expansion of the church; they have little to say about the Christian’s duty to his fellow-men. .. They have but one object, to help to bring individual souls to God in perfect self-subdual and absolute devotion."<ref>Fifty Spiritual Homilies of Saint Macarius the Egyptian - A.J. Mason D.D.</ref> The current Coptic Orthodox Monastery of St. Macarius the Great [] ([ video]), which lies in Wadi Natrun, the ancient Scetis, 92 kilometers from Cairo on the western side of the desert road to Alexandria, was founded in 360 A.D. by the saint, who during his lifetime was spiritual father to more than four thousand monks of different nationalities-Egyptians, Greeks, Ethiopians, Armenians, Nubians, Asians, Palestinians, Italians, Gauls and Spaniards.
Not to be confused with St. [[Macarius of Alexandria]] [], []; and St. Macarius the [[Martyr]] and [[Bishop]] of Edkao (near Assiut, Upper Egypt) []. The [[relics]] of the three Macarii are today preserved at the aforementioned monastery.
St. Macarius, one of the founding fathers of [[monasticism]], was born in the village of Shabsheer, Menuf, Egypt, around 300 A.D. (295 A.D. according to Coptic Orthodox Synaxarium) from good and righteous parents. His father's name was Abraham and his mother's name was Sarah and they had no son. In a vision at night, his father saw the [[angel]] of the Lord, who told him that God was about to give him a son, and his name will be known all over the earth, and he will have a multitude of spiritual sons. Shortly after this vision, they had a son and called him Macarius, which means "Blessed"."
St. Macarius the Great was obedient to his parents, and the [[grace]] of [[God]] was upon him since his young age. When he grew up his father forced him to get married against his will, so he pretended that he was sick for several days. Then he asked his father if he might go to the wilderness to relax a bit. He went to the wilderness and prayed to the Lord [[Christ]] to direct him to do what is pleasing to Him. While he was in the wilderness he saw a vision, and it seemed that one of the [[Cherubim]], with wings, took his hands, and ascended up to the top of the mountain, and showed him all the desert, east and west, and north and south. The Cherub told him, "God has given this desert to you and your sons for an inheritance." When he returned from the wilderness he found that his future wife, who was still virgin, had died, and Macarius thanked the Lord Christ. Shortly after, his parents departed, and he gave all what they had left to the poor and the needy. When the people of Shabsheer saw his chastity and purity, they took him to the bishop of Ashmoun (Egypt) who ordained him a [[priest]] for them. They built a place for him outside the city, and they went to him to confess and to partake from the Holy Mysteries.
When the time came for the girl to give birth, she was in great agony and cried out that it was not St. Macarius, but another man who was her baby's father. As soon as they heard this, the villagers felt ashamed of the way they had treated the saint, and went to ask his forgiveness. When they arrived at his little hut, they found it completely empty; he had fled from their praise and flattery.
St. Macarius was now (c. 330 A.D.) on his way to Scetis, where he would spend most of the remaining sixty years of his life. He dwelt in the inner desert, in the place of the monastery of Sts. Maximus and Domadius (now known as the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of El-Baramous). He went to visit St. Anthony the Great, who said about St. Macarius when he saw him, "This is an Israelite in whom there is no guile." St. Anthony put on him the Holy Eskeem ([[Tonsure|Great Schema]]), then St. Macarius returned to his place.
When the number of [[Monk|monks]] increased around him he built a church for them. St. Macarius' relationship with his fellow monks was a very special one. To them he was the 'aged youth' because, although he was young, having been thirty when he came to Scetis, he had the depth and wisdom of a person much older. St. Macarius fame also grew all over the country and many kings and Emperors heard about the [[Miracle|miracles]] that God performed at his hands. He healed the daughter of the king of Antioch that was possessed by an unclean spirit.

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