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January 14th, 2010

kassia: (Default)
Thursday, January 14th, 2010 02:29 pm
St. Macrina the Elder was the matriarch of a great family of saints. Basil the Elder was her son, and Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebaste, and Macrina the Younger (the founder of scholarly monasticism) were her grandchildren. She is particularly concerned with widows and the poor, and we seek her help in particular for those recently widowed and impoverished by the earthquake yesterday in Haiti.

St. Nino was a foreign captive in Georgia. Her prayer life and spiritual manner of being greatly impressed those who knew her. In that place it was the custom of the women, when a child was sick, to carry her around from household to household seeking a cure. A certain woman brought her child to St. Nino, who explained that she had no medical knowledge, but that her God Christ could heal the child. She placed the child on her cloak and prayed, then handed the child, completely healed, back to her mother. This deed caught the attention of many, including the queen, who had herself carried St. Nino for healing from her grave illness. St. Nino laid the queen on her cloak, called on the name of Christ, then raised her up, completely healed. St. Nino then taught the queen about her God Christ. When the queen told her husband about the nature of her recovery, he ordered many presents to be sent to St. Nino. The queen informed him that St. Nino would reject them, due to her simple lifestyle, and that the only reward that would please her would be for them to worship her God Christ. But the king paid her no mind.

One day, while the king was hunting in the forest, the sky darkened, and soon was as black as night. His companions scattered, and alone and frightened, he thought of St. Nino and her God Christ. He prayed "If indeed that Christ whom the Captive had preached to his Wife was God, then let Him now deliver him from this darkness, that he too might forsake all other gods to worship Him." As soon as the vow was complete in his thoughts, before he could get the words out, daylight was restored to the world, and the king returned to the city unharmed. He told the queen what had happened and summoned St. Nino, that she could instruct him in her faith. She did so, and told them how to build a church. He commanded the church to be built, and she worked wonders in its construction, illuminating the populace. In this way the whole nation was converted.

She is also the patron saint of the St. Nina Quarterly, a publication dedicated to exploring the ministry of women in the Orthodox Church.