Tuesday, February 1, 2011

St. Macarius the Great

Joyous feast! St. Macarius the Great, a native of Lower Egypt, was named "blessed" by his parents and has been shown to be blessed throughout the earth by the great spiritual fruit he bore both in his lifetime and after it through his legacy in founding the Monasteries of the Romans and of St. Macarius in Scetis (now called Wadi Natroun) and in the monastic life of the Orthodox Church generally. (Among the many fathers produced by these monasteries is the modern Abouna Matta al-Maskin/Fr. Matthew the Poor.) St. Macarius fell asleep in his 97th year in 392 AD.

Although St. Macarius left instructions with his disciples for his body to be hidden it was stolen by the people of his village, who built a church for it in the village. It was kept there until the reconstruction of St. Macarius' monastery following the Arab conquest of Egypt, at which time his relics were returned to his monastery. More on his life can be found here. The website of his monastery, which survives to this day, can be found here.

May St. Macarius' prayers and blessing be with us all! Amen.

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