From selling fruit and pastries to being a monk? Why did St. Macarius give up his business to become a monk? That piece of information is unknown. However, we do know he was a monk in Egypt during the fourth century.
St. Macarius’ devotion to Jesus made it possible for him to do severe penances that most people could never accomplish. Since he lived so long ago, it is hard to know whether some of his penances are just legends. But legends are sometimes based on truth, and we know that he did submit himself to a difficult life for the love of God.
I must admit, I am one who doesn’t like to eat my vegetables everyday. If I could, that would be one food group I would get rid of — and I would add chocolate instead! So eating vegetables is a penance for me and a good one for Lent. For seven years St. Macarius lived off of only raw vegetables dipped in water and bread crumbs. For a special treat on feast days, he put a few drops of oil on the bread. (I guess I’ll go eat a raw carrot for a snack!)
Eventually St. Macarius was ordained a priest, and he lived for many years in the desert with other monks.
Feast day: March 10
St. Macarius, pray for us!
Activity: Lenten Vegetable Challenge
Lent is a time for making sacrifices for God. How about imitating St. Macarius for one week of Lent? No, I don’t mean that you must eat only vegetables for one week. But, how about eating your vegetables at dinner without complaining? Each time you take a bite of your dinner vegetables, say to yourself, “I’m doing this because I love you Jesus.” (And, you probably will make your parents happy, too!)