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Macrina: a healer among the women in the early Church

From the July 1997 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The Bible relates a number of healings of women from the time Sarah was delivered from barrenness by Abraham around 1900 B.C. until the restoration to normal health for the woman with an issue of blood by Jesus early in the Christian era. See Gen. 21:1-5; see Matt. 9:20-22 . A widely reported incident occurred shortly thereafter when Peter revived the life of Dorcas, a woman "full of good works and almsdeeds" in the seaport of Joppa. See Acts 9:36-42. Many healings of this kind, cited in both the Old and New Testaments, were accompanied by a distinct feminine sense of faith, hope, and expectancy. Yet until the decline of the primitive Church in the fourth century, there is no record of healings accomplished by women themselves. All of these early works of destroying disease were brought about by men.

Healing ministries in the
early Christian Church

This trend began to change with a well-documented healing that occurred in Cappadocia, in Asia Minor, now part of modern Turkey. Here a woman named Macrina was born to and raised in a well-established family of leaders in the Eastern Christian Church. Her older brother was Basil the Great, who served as a bishop and did many healing works. A younger brother was Gregory of Nyssa, who also became a bishop. He was a widely recognized historian and wrote many books about the growth of the Christian Church in the region of Cappadocia.

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