The only sister of St. Ambrose of Milan , b. about 330-5; d. about 398. She was older than St. Ambrose, and was born most probably at Trier, where her father resided as praefectus praetorio Galliarum . Even before her father's death she went to Rome, the home of her family, and, before her mother's arrival at the capital with her two sons, had already forsaken the world, elected to live a life of Christian virginity, and devoted herself to the practice of piety and asceticism. On Christmas Day, probably in 353, she received the veil of consecrated virginity from the hand of Pope Liberius. The advice, which the pope addressed to her on this occasion, has been preserved by St. Ambrose (De virginibus, III, i-iii), especially emphasized being the obligations of Christian virgins to preserve virginal purity. After Ambrose had become Bishop of Milan (374), he summoned his sister thither, and found in her a zealous assistant in fostering and extending the ascetic life among the maidens of Milan. To her Ambrose dedicated his work on viriginity, written in 377 ("Libri III de virginibus ad Marcellinam" in P.L. XVI, 187-232). Marcellina survived her brother, and died in 398 or shortly afterwards. She also was buried in the crypt under the altar of the Ambrosian Basilica, and was honoured as a saint. Her feast is celebrated on 17 July.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online