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El Greco (1541-1614), “Saint Basil” (photo- Public Domain)

Feast of Saint Basil

(330 – 379 A.D.)

St. Basil was born to wealthy and pious parents in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). His family was renowned for their great sanctity; his grandfather was martyred under the persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian, and his grandmother, mother, and several siblings are all numbered among the saints. St. Basil became a monk and founded several monasteries, famously writing a monastic rule of life which has proved to be the most lasting of those in the East. He studied under the finest teachers and was a respected man of great learning, as well as a zealous defender of orthodoxy against many heresies that threatened the Catholic faith, especially Arianism. He was appointed the bishop of Caesarea and in this role became one of the most influential saints in Church history. His life of deep prayer, austerities, and humility, combined with his uncommon preaching and teaching gifts, guided him in leading one of the most politically and ecclesiastically important Sees of the day, for which he earned the name “the Great.” He is a Doctor of the Church, and one of the group of three saints called the Cappadocian Fathers, together with his brother, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and his lifelong friend, St. Gregory of Nazianzus. St. Basil’s feast day is celebrated on January 2nd, a shared feast day with his close friend St. Gregory Nazianzus.
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Let us raise ourselves from our fall and not give up hope, as long as we are free from sin. Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners… There is, then, a way to salvation if we are willing to follow it.”

Saint Basil the Great
St Basil the Great fresco, unknown artist

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope
St Basil the Great icon; credit: Monasteryicons.com

Saint Basil the Great, doctor of the church, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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