Macrina the Elder

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Saint Macrina the Elder
Bornc. AD 270
Diedc. AD 340
Venerated inRoman Catholicism
Eastern Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy
FeastJanuary 14
Invoked against poverty

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


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 according to Gregory Nazianzen, during the persecution of Christians under Galerius and Diocletian, Macrina fled with her husband to the shores of the Black Sea.[2] Once the persecution had passed, Macrina and her family returned to Neocaesarea.[3]

She was widowed and is the patron of widows. Macrina is also the patron against poverty. Her feast is celebrated on 14 January. She is said to have died in the early 340s AD.[4]


  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, archived from the original on 2013-02-17, retrieved 2013-01-26
  3. ^ "Macrina the Elder", Orthodox Christian Network
  4. ^ Kirsch, Johann (1910), "St. Macrina the Elder", The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 9, New York: Robert Appleton Company, retrieved 2013-01-26