Macrina the Elder

January 14

Macrina the Elder lived in third-century Cappadocia (present-day Turkey). In her youth she was influenced by St. Gregory the Wonderworker, who established Christianity about 250 A.D. Macrina the Elder (so called to distinguish her from her granddaughter, Macrina the Younger) and her husband fled to the hills during Emperor Galerius' persecution of Christians in the fourth century and hid there for seven difficult years. During a later persecution their property was seized and they lived in poverty. Through it all, the couple remained faithful to the religion that was new to their area.


Macrina's son, Gregory, grew up in a home where faith was primary. Macrina taught him according to the writings of Gregory the Wonderworker. He continued the family tradition of faith; several of his children became saints. So Macrina has the rare distinction of being grandmother to Saint Basil, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Macrina the Younger, and Saint Peter of Sebastea.


Macrina, the matriach of a remarkable Christian family, died around 340 in Neocaesarea.


If Macrina the Elder had taken the Spiritual Types Test, she probably would have been a Sage. Macrina the Elder is remembered on January 14.

Today's Reflection

Macrina the Elder