Is a prominent saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic,
&Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Macrina was born at Caesarea, Cappadocia. Born about 330; died 379. She was the eldest child of Basil and Elder Emmelia, the granddaughter of St. Macrina the Elder, and the sister of the Cappadocian Fathers, Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa. St. Gregory of Nyssa wrote a work entitled Life of Macrina in which he describes her sanctity and asceticism Macrina lived a chaste and humble life, devoting her time to prayer and the spiritual education of her younger brother, Peter. Among her nine siblings were two of the three Cappadocian Fathers, as well as Peter of Sebaste and the famous Christian jurist Naucratius. She received an excellent intellectual training, though one based more on the study of the Holy Bible than on that of profane literature.
When she was but twelve years old, her father had already arranged a marriage for her with a young advocate of excellent family. Soon afterwards, however, her affianced husband died suddenly, and Macrina resolved to devote herself to a life of perpetual virginity and the pursuit of Christian perfection.
She exercised great influence over the religious training of her younger brothers, especially St. Peter, afterwards Bishop of Sebaste, and through her St. Gregory received the greatest intellectual stimulation. On the death of their father, Basil took her, with their mother, to a family’s estate on the River Iris, in Pontus. Here, with their servants and other companions, they led a life of retirement, consecrating themselves to God. Strict asceticism, zealous meditation on the truths of Christianity, and prayer were the chief concerns of this community.
Not only the brothers of St. Macrina but also St. Gregory of Nazianzus and Eustathius of Sebastewere associated with this pious circle and were there stimulated to make still further advances towards Christian perfection. After the death of her mother Emmelia, Macrina became the head of this community, in which the fruit of the earnest christian life matured so gloriously. On his return from a synod of Antioch, towards the end of 379, Gregory of Nyssa visited his deeply venerated sister, and found her grievously ill. In pious discourse the brother and sister spoke of the life beyond and of the meeting in heaven. Soon afterwards Macrina passed blissfully to her reward. Gregory composed a "Dialogue on the Soul and Resurrection", treating of his pious discourse with his dying sister. In this, Macrina appears as teacher, and treats of the soul, death, the resurrection, and the restoration of all things. Her feast is celebrated on 19 July.