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Macarius the Roman

October 23

The Venerable Macarius the Roman was discovered in the middle of the desert by three monks who asked him to relate his life story to them. He told them the following. Saint Macarius was born in Rome to wealthy parents, his father being a senator. When he came of age, his parents betrothed him against his will, and on his wedding night, he fled and sought refuge in the house of a pious widow. Here, he spent seven days in tearful prayer, begging the Lord to provide him with an answer. A well-dressed noble man then knocked on the door and ordered Macarius to follow him. He followed the man for three years until they reached a cave, where the old man vanished. Soon, Macarius had a dream where the old man appeared to him revealing that he was in fact the Archangel Raphael. He stayed at the cave, only to be confronted by the most beautiful young woman who stated that she too had fled the world from an undesired marriage. Because of his lack of experience, Macarius allowed the woman to stay with him that night. He was attacked by carnal desires and sinned with the woman that night. The woman then disappeared, and Macarius realised he had fallen face first into the trap sent by the evil one. He realised the greatness of his fall, and spent his remaining years in the strictest fasting, prayer, and vigil, mortifying his flesh in order to return to his once attained holy state. Through his sincere repentance and tearful prayers, the Lord granted him forgiveness and even honoured him as a saint. Saint Macarius the Roman’s life is one of many examples to us that no matter how grave the sin, the Lord is willing to accept a repentant soul.