Skip to Navigation

St. Marcellina, Sister of St. Ambrose

Commemorated on July 17

St. Marcellina was born at Trier, Gaul in the fourth century. She was the daughter of the prefect of Gaul and sister of St. Ambrose.

While still young, she traveled to Rome with her family and was given the veil by Pope Liberius on Christmas Day, 353. She devoted herself to the practice of piety and asceticism.

Upon St. Ambrose being made Bishop of Milan, he summoned Marcellina to be his assistant. She was responsible for fostering and extending the ascetic life among the maidens of Milan. In 377, St. Ambrose dedicated his writings on virginity to her.

Marcellina survived St. Ambrose by only a year, dying in 398. She was buried in the crypt under the altar of the Ambrosian Basilica in Milan.

By permission of