Macrina the Elder

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Saint Macrina the Elder
Born c. 270 AD
Died c. 340 AD
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast January 14
Patronage Widows
Invoked against poverty

Saint Macrina the Elder (before 270 – c. 340) was the mother of Saint Basil the Elder, and the grandmother of Basil the Great, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Peter of Sebaste, and Saint Macrina the Younger.[1]


Little is known about this saint. The works of Basil indicate that she studied under Gregory Thaumaturgus, and that it was his teachings handed down through Macrina to Basil and Gregory, that were particularly formative for the two Cappadocian brothers.[2]

Her home was at Neocaesarea in Pontus and during the persecution of Christians under Galerius and Diocletian, Macrina supposedly fled with her husband to the shores of the Black Sea.[2]

She was widowed and is the patron of widows and the patron against poverty. Her feast is celebrated on 14 January. She is said to have died in the early 340s AD.[3]


  1. ^ Attwater, Donald; John, Catherine (1995), "Macrina the Elder", The Penguin Dictionary of saints, London: Penguin Books, ISBN 978-0-14-051312-7, retrieved 2013-01-26 
  2. ^ a b Macrina the Elder, Saint, Philosopher, Grandmother of Macrina, retrieved 2013-01-26 
  3. ^ Kirsch, Johann (1910), "St. Macrina the Elder", The Catholic Encyclopedia, 9, New York: Robert Appleton Company, retrieved 2013-01-26