VENERABLE MACARIUS THE GREAT

January 19

From the Prologue

Macarius was an Egyptian and one of the younger contemporaries of Anthony the Great. His father was a priest. Out of obedience to his parents, Macarius married. However, his wife died shortly thereafter and he withdrew into the wilderness where he spent sixty years in labor and struggle, both internally and externally for the Kingdom of Heaven. When they asked him: "Why is he so thin when he eats and when he does not eat?" He responded: "From the fear of God." So much did he succeed in cleansing his mind of evil thoughts and his heart of evil desires that God bestowed upon him the abundant gift of miracle-working so that he even raised the dead from the graves. His humility amazed both men and demons. A demon once said to him: "There is only one thing in which I am unable to overpower you. It is not in fasting; for I do not eat anything. It is not in vigils; for I never sleep." "But, what is it?" asked Macarius. "Your humility" answered the demon. Macarius often spoke to Paphnutius, his disciple: "Do not judge anyone and you will be saved." Macarius lived to be ninety-seven years old. Nine days before his death, St. Anthony and St. Pachomius appeared to him from the other world and informed him that he would die within nine days, which happened. Also, before his death, Macarius had a vision in which a cherubim revealed to him the blessed heavenly world, commended his effort and his virtue and said to him that he was sent to take his soul into the Kingdom of Heaven. He died in the year 390 A.D.





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