Yesterday was the feast of St. Macrina the Younger.
I didn’t know who she was, either. It turns out that she is the sister of St. Basil the Great. And St. Gregory of Nyssa. And St. Peter of Sebaste. And the oldest of ten children born to St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia.
I suppose that makes them that family.
I’m listening to early-morning, mid-summer squabbling over Legos and wondering if Basil and Emmelia’s kids did that, too. Did they maybe instead fight over who got to share?
I don’t know the Basil family, though another family of saints comes to mind who might’ve had a different home temperature: James and John and Salome. Certainly the Sons of Thunder and their formidable mom had some run-ins over the years. I wonder what a little James and John, a bin of Legos, and a tired Salome looked like.
Also, the Martins: Once in a letter Blessed Zelie wrote that five-year-old St. Therese had run screaming through the house chasing the nanny and calling her a brat!
I wonder if these different families of saints maybe succeeded in helping each other to holiness by always keeping the big picture in front of their children—that Jesus, Second Person of the Holy Trinity, came to this world to die for us so that we could go to heaven and be loved eternally—in spite of the inevitable squabbling and failures of family life.
As we approach the mid-summer stretch, let’s ask these families of saints to pray for us that we not sweat the small stuff, that we teach the big picture well to our children, and that we never give up our faith, no matter how hairy it gets.
And I’m sure it got hairy at these houses of saints sometimes. Let’s pray that we can ask them about it some day.
Copyright 2015 Meg Matenaer.
Photo by KateWebber (2014) via Morguefile.