Established in 1933 by Mother Macrina Melnychuk (1879-1948) in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the pilgrimage takes place each Labor Day weekend on the grounds of the Basilian monastery there, drawing more than 30,000. Mount Saint Macrina, named for Saint Basil's sister, Saint Macrina, was formally dedicated in 1934.
Once named Oak Hill, it was the estate (more than 1,000 acres) of coal baron J.V. Thompson (Josiah Van Kirk Thompson), a leading figure in the great coal and coke boom of the late 19th century. Financial misfortune forced him into bankruptcy, and in 1933 the Byzantine Catholic Order of Sisters of St. Basil acquired the property. The Thompson mansion, visible from U.S. Route 40, is now the Sisters' retreat center.
The monastery for the community of sisters is a five-story yellow brick building at the north end of the property. An international Order, other groups of the Sisters of St. Basil are spread throughout the world. The newest building on the property is Mount Macrina Manor Nursing Home, dedicated in 1971. Today, the Thompson Mansion serves as a retreat center.
Brothers of Prayer also hold their weekly meetings on the Mount Saint Macrina grounds on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 PM EST.
In 1999, Mount Saint Macrina was named to the National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior.
- Magocsi, Paul Robert and Ivan Pop (2005). Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-3566-3.