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December 21, 2018

Saint Macarius the Faster, Abbot of the Khakhuli Monastery (+ 1034)

St. Macarius the Faster (Feast Day - December 21)

In the second half of the tenth century King Davit Kuropalates constructed the Khakhuli Church in southern Georgia. He also founded Khakhuli Monastery, which in later centuries would become a center of spirituality, science, and education. Today this monastery is located on Turkish territory, but the grace of the ascetic labors of the fathers who labored there in the past pours forth hope upon the Georgian people to this day.

Many holy and wonderworking fathers labored at Khakhuli Monastery, including Saint Basil the son of King Bagrat III, the brothers George and Saba of Khakhuli, Saint Hilarion of Tvali and many other God-fearing ascetics, whose righteousness and spiritual feats were guided by the holy abbot Macarius.

Fr. Macarius was a great ascetic, teacher, and prophet. Novices and wise and experienced elders alike flocked to him for advice and blessings. The young monk George, later the great ascetic George of the Holy Mountain, was brought to Saint Macarius to receive his blessing. Saint Macarius called George his spiritual son.

By the grace of God, Saint Macarius reconciled his responsibilities as abbot of the monastery with the great spiritual labor of solitude. He earned the title “the Faster” for his exceptional ascesis in fasting and prayer. It is said that, as abbot of Khakhuli Monastery, “he shone like the morning sunrise and guided the spiritual activity and secular life of the entire Tao-Klarjeti region.”

Saint Macarius reposed around the year 1034.