It’s coming! Can you feel it? Thanksgiving and Advent are right around the corner, and that means you’re probably looking for your comfy pants, because skipping a piece of Aunt Lu’s pumpkin pie is a terrible idea. Maybe you’re really looking forward to spending time with all your relatives and friends, or maybe you’re really looking for a quiet corner to gaze upon the majesty of family from a safe distance. Whatever you end up doing, we hope you are able to spend time with people you love (and people who love you), thanking God for all the blessings of this life, and waiting to see what other wonders God may have in store for you in the coming days and months.
Families are weird, you guys. And if you think your family isn’t a tiny bit odd, you definitely have at least one friend who will disabuse you of that thought. Take my friend Macrina the Younger as an example. She’s one of those saints you might not know anything about. The most important thing to know about her—the most important thing you can know about yourself or anyone else—is that she was a beloved child of God and friend of Jesus. Another helpful bit of information: she came from a pretty unusual family.
You know those families you can hardly believe are real? The ones with the ridiculously overachieving children and the magically organized parents? Yeah…that was Macrina’s family. Both her parents are saints—Emmelia of Caesarea and Basil the Elder, and her grammy Macrina the Elder is one, too. Also, four of her siblings (Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebaste, and Naucratius—who was allegedly The Cute One) are saints as well, and Basil and Gregory are counted as TWO of the three Cappadocian Fathers—who are a pretty big deal, as they did much of the heavy lifting involved in fleshing out (see what I did there?) the doctrine of the Trinity. Rumor has it that Macrina the Younger was actually the Fourth Cappadocian Parent, but since the Church had a really hard time remembering to count women as actual human people for a few hundred years, she has been recognized as a part of this group in only the last few decades. You can read more about her life of faith in the 2017 Saintly Scorecard!
By now, many of you will have read, marked, and inwardly digested the Lent Madness Bracket for 2017—you may have even pre-ordered your giant wall bracket, Saintly Scorecards, and lit a vigil candle in preparation for the Saintly Smackdown. Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.
This year’s Lent Madness promises to be a real barn-burner, and we can’t wait to play. To help you get ready, we’re running a Saintly Special until Sunday 11/13 on Lent Madness-related swag—coffee cups, pint glasses, giant tea mugs, t-shirts, Golden Halo flying disks, and our family resource Meet the Saints so you can work toward making your family as weird and wonderful as Macrina’s, for Jesus’ sake.