New Exhibit: UST’s Society of Macrina

This month, the Doherty exhibit cases feature photos and information about UST’s Society of Macrina.

What is the Society of Macrina?

The Society of Macrina (SOM) is a women’s organization on the campus of the University of St. Thomas. Founded in 2012, SOM continues its work of connecting, supporting, inspiring, and teaching the young women in the campus community so that they might be prepared to lead fulfilling, service-centered, successful lives.

Saint Macrina

Who is St. Macrina?

St. Macrina the Younger (330-379) was the sister of Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa. She received an excellent intellectual training, based on the study of the Holy Bible. By the time she was twelve years old, her father had arranged a marriage for her. However, her fiance died suddenly, and Macrina resolved to devote herself to a life of perpetual virginity and the pursuit of Christian perfection. She exercised great influence over the religious training of her younger brothers, especially St. Peter, and through her St. Gregory received great intellectual stimulation. On the death of their father, Basil took her and their mother to a family estate  in Pontus. Strict asceticism, zealous meditation on the truths of Christianity, and prayer were the chief concerns of this community. Their house offered a refuge to many passers-by: the poor, the sick, and the lonely. St. Gregory left us a a biography of his sister in the form of a panegyric, titled Vita Macrinae Junioris.” Her feast is celebrated on 19 July.*

The Society of Macrina chose its patron because of her example of great love and concern for her family and friends, as well as her welcoming outreach to strangers. Its members ask her blessing as we reach out to women of all backgrounds and interests, and provide them with a sense of love and belonging, and of purpose.

To keep up with Society of Macrina events and activities, check out the organization’s Facebook page. You can also read more about the history of the club on Catholic Online, and sign up for their upcoming Women’s Conference, ““Love and Relationships: A Woman’s Perspective.” 

*Taken from Johann Peter Kirsch, “St. Macrina the Younger,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 9.

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