Thursday, 14 January 2010

Today is the Feast of St Macrina

Remember this? A puerile and loose link, I know. It is traditional for Catholics on the Feast of St Macrina to go to McDonalds and order a 'Big Mac Meal'. Okay, it isn't.

St. Basil the Great, who was born around 329, came from a family of saints. Macrina, his father's mother, was one of his favorites. She seems to have raised Basil. As an adult, he praised his grandmother for all the good she had done for him. He especially thanked her openly for having taught him to love the Christian faith from the time he was very small. Macrina and her husband learned the high price of being true to their Christian beliefs. During one of the Roman persecutions of Galerius and Maximinus, Basil's grandparents were forced into hiding. They found refuge in the forest near their home. Somehow they managed to escape their persecutors. They were always hungry and afraid, but they would not give up their faith.

Instead, they patiently waited and prayed for the persecution to end. They hunted for food and ate the wild vegetation and somehow survived. This persecution lasted seven years. St. Gregory Nazianzen, who shares Basil's feast day on January 2, recorded these few details. During another persecution, Macrina and her husband had all their property and belongings taken from them. They were left with nothing but their faith and trust in God's care for them. St. Macrina survived her husband but the exact year of each of their deaths is not recorded. It is believed that Macrina died around 340. Her grandchild, Basil, died in 379.


pelerin said...

Another saint previously unknown to me. Thanks for the info. I wonder if she is the patron saint of grandmothers? I rather like that idea.

The Bones said...

Don't know! Think that is St Ann!

pelerin said...

Thanks Laurence - of course you are right about St Ann/Anne being the patron Saint of grandmothers. Had never really thought of her connection before as grandmother to Our Lord.

Have been looking at a website of Patron Saints which confirms St Anne as Patron Saint of Grandmothers. Strangely she is also the Patron Saint of horse riders. Not sure how this would have come about!

The Bones said...

I think the Vatican puts certain pursuits in a big ball and pulls out the balls like in the FA Cup draw.

"St Ann is to face...Horseriders!"

"Horseriders, Jim. Who'd have thought it, eh? It's a cinderella story."

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