St. Macrina the Younger

The saint I chose today was an interesting one, from my point of view: St. Macrina the Younger (330-379), who lived in what is now Turkey. She was a contemplative saint, a virgin, and a member of a very saintly family. Her grandmother (also called Macrina) was a saint, as were her brothers, St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nyssa. (St. Gregory of Nyssa is responsible for one of my favourite Christian quotations: "Concepts create idols. Only wonder understands.")

What did I know about this saint before today?

Nothing. I'd never even heard of her.

Why did I choose this saint?

Although I generally avoid ancient saints, I chose Macrina because she is a contemplative, and I'm much more interested in contemplative saints than in active saints. I also think the world needs them more now.

What did I learn about this saint?

She was engaged to be married in youth, but when her fiancĂ© died, she settled on a life of virginity. She eventually established a religious community with her mothe…

St. Eadburh of Bichester

The saint I chose today is St. Eadburh of Bicester, who lived in the seventh century, a "nun and perhaps abbess of Aylesbury".

In fact, it is probably best if I simply reproduce the very little that is known about St. Eadburh (or Edburg) from The Oxford Dictionary of Saints online:

Claimed to be a daughter of Penda, king of Mercia (although her name is absent from the usual lists), this Edburga, who helped to train Osith in the religious life, was a nun and perhaps abbess of Aylesbury, although the legend states that she lived at Adderbury (Oxon.), some thirty miles away, a place-name which means ‘Eadburg's burh’. Edburga's relics were translated to Bicester (Oxon.), a house of Austin Canons founded in 1182, which was dedicated to Our Lady and St Edburga. The splendid base of the shrine, made in 1320, survives in the church of Stanton Harcourt (Oxon.). Feast: 18 July, which by an unfortunate coincidence is also the translation feast of Edburga of Winchester. Edburga of…