« Marcella, friend of Jerome Marcellina, a sister of St. Ambrose Marcellinus, bp. of Rome »

Marcellina, a sister of St. Ambrose

Marcellina (2), a sister of St. Ambrose, older than himself. His three books de Virginibus, addressed to her, were written by her request. From iii. 1 we learn that she was admitted as a consecrated virgin at Rome on Christmas Day, by pope Liberius, in the presence of a large concourse of virgins and others. The address then given by Liberius is recorded by Ambrose from what Marcellina had often repeated to him. Ambrose praises her devotion and advises her to relax the severity of her fasting. She is mentioned by him (Ep. v.) as a witness to the virginal purity of Indicia. A constant correspondence was kept up with her brother. She is his "domina soror vitae atque oculis praeferenda." He wrote three of his most important letters to her: Ep. xx. describes his conflict with Justina and her son the younger Valentinian; xxii. announces the discovery of the bodies of the martyrs Gervasius and Protasius; xli. reports a sermon in which he had reproved Theodosius. In his discourse on the death of his brother Satyrus, Ambrose speaks of the warm family affection which bound the three together, and of the sister's grief (de Excessu Satyri, §§ 33, 76.

[J.LL.D.]

« Marcella, friend of Jerome Marcellina, a sister of St. Ambrose Marcellinus, bp. of Rome »





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