Skip to main content

Marcella, St.


Widow, ascetic; b. c. 325335 of the noble Roman family of the Marcelli; d. late 410 or early 411. Her father died while she was young, and although she was left a childless widow after a marriage of only seven months, she declined an opportunity to remarry and instead consecrated herself to God. In her home on the Aventine, where she lived with her mother, Albina, she gathered together a number of noble Roman widows and virgins interested in pursuing the religious life. This group was given instruction by St. jerome during his stay in Rome (382385). A zealous student of scripture, Marcella directed a flow of philological and exegetical questions to Jerome, and his extant correspondence includes a number of letters addressed to her. Marcella took a vigorous interest in the dispute over origenism. During the plunder of Rome (410), she was beaten by soldiers of Alaric and died not long thereafter. Jerome left (Ep. 127) a touching account of her life.

Feast: Jan. 31.

Bibliography: i. hilberg, Sancti Eusebii Hieronymi epistulae (Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 5456; 191018), esp. nos. 2329, 32, 34, 37, 38, 4044, 46, 59, 127. f. cavallera, Saint Jérôme, 2 v. (Spicilegium sacrum Lovaniense 1, 2; 1922), passim. s. letsch-brunner, Marcella: discipula et magistra (Berlin 1998).

[t. c. lawler]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Marcella, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 25 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Marcella, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (March 25, 2019).

"Marcella, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 25, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.