St Macrina the Elder
Celebrated on May 30th (and January 14th)
St Macrina the Elder was the family root of a distinguished lineage of Saints that included St Macrina the Younger, St Basil the Great and St Gregory of Nyssa. She was born in Neocaesarea in Pontus, Asia Minor, to pagan parents sometime before 270 AD. She married and became Christian through the teachings of St Gregory the Wonderworker. Because of their faith, Macrina and her husband were persecuted under Emperor Maximian around 305-306 AD, and escaped into the Pontian mountains. They lived in-hiding there for seven years, protected and sustained by the grace of God. Macrina is believed to have lived until around 340 AD.
Of Macrina’s children, the names of two have survived: Basil and Gregory. Basil married Emmelia and had ten children. The eldest became St Macrina the Younger, sister to St Basil the Great, St Naucratius and St Gregory of Nyssa, who each made substantial contributions to the monastic, patristic and theological traditions of the Church as bishops and monastics.