Παρασκευή 19 Ιανουαρίου 2024

Feast Day of Agios Makarios and Macarius of Alexandria, 19 January

Τω αυτώ μηνί ΙΘ’, μνήμη των Οσίων Πατέρων ημών και συνωνύμων Μακαρίων, του τε αναχωρητού και Αιγυπτίου, και του πολιτικού και Αλεξανδρέως.

Θανούσα θείων η δυάς Μακαρίων,
Ζωής μετέσχε της μακαριωτάτης.
Γην μακάρων λάχον εννεακαιδεκάτη Μακάριοι.

Saint Macarius the Great of Egypt was born in the early fourth century in the village of Ptinapor in Egypt. At the wish of his parents, he entered into marriage but was soon widowed. After he buried his wife, Macarius told himself, “Take heed, Macarius, and have cared for your soul. It is fitting that you forsake worldly life.”

The Lord rewarded the saint with long life, but from that time the memory of death was constantly with him, impelling him to ascetic deeds of prayer and penitence.

He began to visit the church of God more frequently and to be more deeply absorbed in Holy Scripture, but he did not leave his aged parents, thus fulfilling the commandment to honour one’s parents.

Until his parents died, Saint Macarius used his remaining substance to help them and he began to pray fervently that the Lord might show him a guide on the way to salvation.

The Lord sent him an experienced Elder, who lived in the desert not far from the village. The Elder accepted the youth with love, guided him in the spiritual science of watchfulness, fasting and prayer, and taught him the handicraft of weaving baskets. After building a separate cell not far from his own, the Elder settled his disciple in it.

Saint Macarius worked many healings. People thronged to him from various places for help and for advice, asking his holy prayers. All this unsettled the quietude of the saint. He, therefore, dug out a deep cave under his cell and hid there for prayer and meditation.

Saint Macarius attained such boldness before God that, through his prayers, the Lord raised the dead. Despite attaining such heights of holiness, he continued to preserve his unusual humility.

The prayer of Saint Makarios saved many in perilous circumstances of life and preserved them from harm and temptation. His benevolence was so great that they said of him: “Just as God sees the whole world but does not chastise sinners, so also does Abba Macarius cover his neighbour’s weaknesses, which he seemed to see without seeing, and heard without hearing.”

The monk lived until the age of ninety.

Shortly before his death, Saints Anthony and Pachomius appeared to him, bringing the joyful message of his departure to eternal life in nine days. After instructing his disciples to preserve the monastic Rule and the traditions of the Fathers, he blessed them and began to prepare for death. Saint Macarius departed to the Lord saying, “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

The miracles and visions of Blessed Makarios are recorded in a book by the presbyter Rufinus, and his Life was compiled by Saint Serapion, bishop of Tmuntis (Lower Egypt), one of the renowned workers of the Church in the fourth century. His holy relics are in the city of Amalfi, Italy.



Saint Macarius of Alexandria
Saint Macarius of Alexandria (Greek: Μακάριος; died 395) was a monk in the Nitrian Desert. He was a slightly younger contemporary of Macarius of Egypt, and is thus also known as Macarius the Younger.

Macarius was born about the year 300 in Alexandria. He was a merchant selling confections until the age of 40, when he was baptized and went off into the desert. After several years of ascetic life, he was ordained a presbyter and appointed prior of a monastery known as the "Kellii", or "cells" in the Egyptian desert, between the Nitria mountain and a skete in which monastic hermits lived in silence, each in his own cell.

About the year 335, Macarius of Alexandria retired to live alone as a recluse in el-Natroun desert. Many miracles were ascribed to him. He presided over five thousand Nitric monks.

Having learned of the extremely strict rule for monastic life observed at the Tabbenesiot Monastery, whose prior was Venerable St. Pachomios the Great (+ 348), St. Macarius disguised himself in secular clothing, and over the course of the entire Quadragesima [the 40-day Great Lent] neither ate bread nor drank water.[4] No one saw him eating or sitting down. He was making baskets of palm leaves while he was standing. The monks said to Saint Pachomius: "Cast out this man from here, for he is not human." A divine inspiration subsequently revealed Macarius' identity to him, and the monks rushed to receive his blessings. Having demonstrated humility and taught a lesson to all, St. Macarius returned to his own monastery.

At the age of 73 Macarius of Alexandria was exiled by Emperor Valens, along with Macarius of Egypt to an island, which they subsequently Christianized.

According to Eastern Orthodox tradition, Macarius of Alexandria died on 2 January 395. According to the Coptic Orthodox tradition, he died on 1 May 395. (6 Pashons, 111 A.M.)

In addition to a monastic rule and three brief apothegms, a homily "On the End of the Souls of the Righteous and of Sinners" is ascribed to him, although excellent Vienna manuscripts assign the latter to a monk named Alexander. Palladius and Sozomen also mention a Macarius the Younger of Lower Egypt, who lived in a cell for more than twenty three years to atone for a murder which he had committed.

Ἀπολυτίκιον

Ἦχος α’.

Τῆς ἐρήμου πολίτης καί ἐν σώματι ἄγγελος, καί θαυματουργός ἀνεδείχθης, θεοφόρε Πατήρ ἡμῶν Μακάριε· νηστείᾳ ἀγρυπνίᾳ προσευχῇ, οὐράνια χαρίσματα λαβών, θεραπεύεις τούς νοσοῦντας, καί τάς ψυχάς τῶν πίστει προστρεχόντων σοι. Δόξα τῷ δεδωκότι σοι ἰσχύν, δόξα τῷ σέ στεφανώσαντι, δόξα τῷ ἐνεργοῦντι διά σοῦ πᾶσιν ἰάματα

Έτερον Ἀπολυτίκιον

Ήχος α’. Της ερήμου πολίτης.

Ζωής της μακαριάς φερωνύμως ετύχετε, ως πολιτευθέντες οσίως, θεοφόροι Μακάριοι, εν νόμω γαρ τω θείω ευσεβώς, ιθύναντες τας τρίβους της ζωής θείας δόξης ανεδείχθητε κοινωνοί, σώζοντες τους κραυγάζοντας, δόξα τω ενισχύσαντι υμάς, δόξα τω στεφανώσαντι, δόξα τω ενεργούντι δι' υμών πάσιν ιάματα.

Κοντάκιον

Ἦχος δ’. Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον.

Ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ Κύριος, τῆς ἐγκρατείας, ἀληθῶς σε ἔθετο, ὡσπερ ἀστέρα ἀπλανῆ, φωταγωγοῦντα τά πέρατα, Πάτερ Πατέρων, Μακάριε Ὅσιε.