July 19, 2016

Synaxarion of Saint Macrina, the Sister of Basil the Great

On the nineteenth of this month [July], we commemorate our Venerable Mother Macrina,
sister of Basil the Great.


Little by little Macrina distanced herself,
From the world and approached the Lord.

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Sisterly-minded to your brethren, O Macrina,
You dwell with them on high fraternally also.
On the nineteenth Angels took Macrina hence.

Saint Macrina was adorned with physical beauty, and with a beautiful mind, therefore she was engaged to a man, at a time when weddings had engagements, and her fiance died, gathering the common donations. Wherefore the blessed Macrina, despite being asked by many to take her as their wife, she did not want this, but preferred widowhood and its difficulties, although she never tasted of the joys and pleasures of marriage.

She therefore separated herself from every worldly intercourse, and found herself to be with her mother, entirely coming into a new state of being by reading and studying the divine Scriptures, and became as a second mother in raising and educating her brothers born after her. All together her parents had ten children, and she was the first to be born.

She passed her life in asceticism venerably, and together with her divine brother Gregory of Nyssa conversed about the soul during her final breaths, and she reposed in the Lord.*


* A portion of her right leg is in Iveron Monastery at Mount Athos. A portion of her right arm is in Panachrantos Monastery at Andros. Other portions of her relics can be found in Stavronikita Monastery at Mount Athos and Kykkos Monastery at Cyprus.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
In thee the image was preserved with exactness, O Mother; for taking up thy cross, thou didst follow Christ, and by thy deeds thou didst teach us to overlook the flesh, for it passeth away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal. Wherefore, O Venerable Macrina, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.

Another Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Thou didst lend wings to thy mind by thy love of wisdom, and wisely abandon the world's comforts. Thou wast an abode of true philosophy, and by thine ascetic life, thou didst become a glorious bride of the Savior. Intercede with Him for those who cry: Rejoice, O God-bearing Macrina.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou wast filled with the light of righteousness, and reflected the divine life as an initiator of virtues for those who cry to thee with faith: Rejoice, O Macrina, glory of virgins.

Kathisma in the First Tone
Through holiness of life, thou, the pure lamb without spot, wast mysteriously united and wed to the Lord God; for thou hadst adorned thyself with the beauty of grace divine. Wherefore, thou hast now received the grace to work healings, curing every sickness by the strength of the Spirit, Macrina most ven’rable.