August 1 – Saint Macrina's Day: history, traditions and signs of the holiday

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August 1, 2022, 06:02 | Culture

You can't weed the garden today – the harvest will suffer from heavy rains.

August 1 – Day Saint Makryna: history, traditions and signs of the holiday

On August 1, the Orthodox Church celebrates the date of memory of Saint Macrina of Cappadocia, a great saint and miracle worker. While still a very young girl, she renounced worldly goods, riches and men, taking a vow of celibacy and deciding to remain a virgin. All her life, the nun slept on simple boards, modestly ate simple wheat and was silent most of the time, except for the period of reading prayers. For such actions, Fekla (name at birth) was awarded a great gift of miracle-working, informs Ukr.Media.

Among the people, the pronunciation of the name and the name of the holiday was often distorted and pronounced as Mokryna. These metamorphoses are not accidental – to the extent that a rainy day determined the weather of the coming autumn.

The story of the life of the saint

Saint was born in the 4th century in Asia Minor Cappadocia in a family where there were 9 children besides her. Her mother, Emilia, while she was pregnant, saw an angel of the Lord in a dream, due to which the unborn girl was named Thekla. During her life, she received another name. All her relatives called Thekla Macrina, in honor of her grandmother, who accepted suffering during the period of Christian persecution under the ruler Maximilian.

Emilia raised all ten in piety and meekness, she herself taught literacy according to the Holy Scriptures, instilled love for the Almighty. From an early age, Makrina was taught to attend services and read prayers, was taught needlework and housekeeping. When she grew up, her parents, by their decision, betrothed the girl to a pious boy, however, the groom tragically died before the wedding. Many dreamed of taking Thekla as a wife, but the saint chose a different path — she took monastic vows and chose a virgin life.

Soon the brothers and sisters grew up and left their parents' house. Macrina persuaded her mother to dissolve the slaves and household, to go with her to the monastery, and Emilia agreed. It is worth noting that some of the slaves followed this example. From that moment on, they did everything together – prayed, did work in the temple, lived in the same cell. After the death of the mother, the leadership of the monastery fell on Thekla's shoulders. During this time, she managed to gain authority among the sisters in faith.

For her unshakable faith and firmness of spirit, the Cappadocian virgin was awarded the gift of healing and miracle-working. One such case is described in religious sources. A girl with blindness who could not see was brought to the abbess. She kissed the child's sick eye and cured the ailment.

At the age of about 55, the great saint gave her soul to God. Until her last breath, she praised the Creator and constantly thanked him for the benevolence given and the gift received. The body of the deceased was buried in the same grave as her parents.

Traditions and signs of the holiday

If Mokryna's day seemed sunny, the girls performed a specific cult. Women born on August 1 chose and put on the best of their outfits, and in this form stayed at home to wait for other girls to bring them ears of corn. The ears of corn were collected in a sheaf, after which it was allowed to leave the house and go to the river. The sheaf was thrown into the water and drowned until the current swept away the ear. If you managed to do this, you would be waiting for the long-awaited harvest rain.

Men were strictly forbidden to approach the water. It was believed that if a man or a young man glanced at the process even for a moment, it would bring great trouble to the village. For this reason, the strong half was engaged in yard work, field work – anything but the killing of livestock and birds for sustenance. It was forbidden to shed blood, because the sin would be passed on to future generations.

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