Saint Makarios of Alexandria


San_Macario_lAlessandrinoThe Monk Makarios of Alexandria was a contemporary and friend of the Monk Makarios of Egypt (Comm. 19 January). He was born in the year 295, and until the age of 40 he was occupied in trade; afterwards, he accepted holy Baptism and withdrew into the wilderness. After several years of ascetic life he was elevated to the dignity of presbyter and made head of a monastery — called “the Cells” — in the Egyptian wilderness between the city of Nitra and the Skete, at which monk-hermits pursued asceticism in silence, each separately in his own cell.

Saint Makarios of Alexandria, like Makarios of Egypt, was a great ascetic and monastic head, and he accomplished many miracles. Learning about some particular ascetic feat of this or that monk, he attempted to imitate him in that ascetic deed. Thus, having heard that a certain monk used only one pound of bread in a day, he started to eat only so much and even less. Wishing to shorten his sleep, he stayed for 20 whole days under the open sky, enduring heat by day and cold by night. One time Saint Makarios picked a bunch of grapes. He very much wanted to eat them, but he conquered this desire in himself and gave the grapes to a still weaker monk. That one, wanting to preserve his abstinence, gave the grapes to another, and that one — to a third and so forth. At the very end the bunch of grapes returned to the Monk Makarios. The ascetic was astonished at the abstention of his disciples and gave thanks to God. One time a proud thought came over the saint — to go to Rome to heal the sick. Struggling with the temptation, the saint filled up a sack of sand, loaded it on himself and went for a long walk into the wilderness, and until he exhausted his body the proud thought did not leave him.

By his ascetic life, fasting, and renunciation of things earthly, the Monk Makarios acquired the gifts of wonderworking and of seeing the inner thoughts of people, and he was granted many miraculous visions. Thus, it was granted the monk to see how one of the ascetics of the holy monastery — the Monk Mark — was communicated the Holy Mysteries from the hands of Angels, and how careless brethren received during the time of partaking in place of the Body of Christ burning coals from those of the nether regions. Saint Makarios was glorified by many miracles of healing the sick and casting out devils. Saint Makarios of Alexandria died in about 394-395 at age 100. He wrote “Discourse about the Origin of the Soul” included in the text of the sequenced Psalter.

Feast Day: January 19

Translated by Fr.S.Janos, source