Saint Marcella

(325–410)
Roman widow, correspondent with Saint Jerome, martyr.
Patron saint of noblewomen

Marcella was born into the Roman nobility and lived a privileged and comfortable life. After nine months of marriage, Marcella’s husband died, so she donated her wealth to the poor and dedicated her home to be a Christian women’s center for charity, prayer, and activism. She corresponded with Saint Jerome, an important scholar who translated the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament into Latin (called “the Vulgate”). They discussed spirituality in person and in their letters, and he referred to her as "the glory of Roman ladies” - high praise in a time when women were not recognized for their spiritual leadership.

By heaven’s grace, I shall go in want of daily bread, but I shall not feel hunger since I am full of Christ. God grant me the generosity to store my money in the stomachs of the needy rather than hide it in a purse. My sweetest Lord, remember that I seek to do what you will for me. Amen. (Adapted from the writings of Saint Marcella.)

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