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Saint Macrina

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The life of Macrina was a hagiography from letters written by Gregory of Nyssa after the death of his sister Macrina. The letters were addressed to the Monk Olympus, which was giving the accounts of Macrina as a Christian woman and her family. The letters have critical information that pertained to the early Christian religious life. Macrina was the eldest child of Basil and Emmelia. She devoted herself to religion by becoming a nun after the death of her intended bridegroom. She was a Holy woman who did instruct young women religiously, and thus she was honored as the most prominent nun of the Eastern Church. Her ascetic adherence had a profound influence on her brothers, which led Gregory to write about the life of Macrina and to describe the sanctity of her entire life. She had built a monastery and a convent in their family estate in Pontus with the help of her brother Peter.

Macrina was born to a noble family and was named Thecla, because of her mothers dream before she was delivered; this was after the companion of Saint Paul to the virgin martyr. She was taught to read  the Holy Scripture, which led her to seek the Word of God as her Guidance, where she found consolation and joy. Her beauty was surprisingly attracting, and a suitor was selected so that they would marry when they attain the marriageable age, but her to-be-bridegroom died before he married her.

This has the explanation that the taking of her fiancé to the eternal habitation from the transitory world was the will of God, who has power over all things. Macrina chose never to marry to another person devoting herself to the way of God, which she never considered as binding betrothal. It was through the Wisdom of God that she explained to her parent that there is only one life and death that hence the marriage should be only one as well. She had the inspiration of resurrection of her brother that was not dead, but was alive in God contenting to His will, which was to guide to the different paths of her life (Fitzgerald, 2004).

Macrina never considered any work as she used to work with the servants hand in hand, and this turned them to be sisters. Her mother, who nurtured her in the virtues of Christianity, is now being led to the spiritual life by her daughter. She convinced her mother not to mourn her son’s death as it was the practice for those who did not have hope. This was a reliever as they endured the suffering of the loss with courageous hearts; her desire to be wholly devoted to God increasingly detached her from the rest of the world. And she persuaded her mother to the path of the monastic. Macrina’s rejection of the cultural life of the non Christians and her contemporaries has the border indication of the cultural response to that of the secular society.

They did advance to the virtual of fasting regarding food and poverty as riches, and were never spoiled by anger, jealous, and pride of their harmony. They were little separated by the physical body to the life of the angels. Her monastery did not survive to the full accounts she had exercised with her brother, but she was credited by her brother, for she did bring Brasil to the monastic life.

Gregory gives the last account of their conversation on the soul and resurrection, where it is argued that it is the foolishness and the misunderstandings that are the cause of grief of the beloved one’s death, which has the tendency of outweighing those that are left in the world. This is the failure of comprehension that only the flesh that passes away; only the body that is dissolved at death because it is composite.

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