Monday, 2 January 2017

Saint Basil the Great



The 2nd of January is the feast day of Saint Basil the Great. He is the patron saint of Russia, Cappadocia, Hospital administrators, Reformers, Monks, Education, Exorcism, Liturgists.

Saint Basil was born in 330 at Caesarea of Cappadocia. His parents were St Basil the Elder and St Emmelia, altogether they had 10 children several of which are also saints. He attended school in Caesarea, Constantinople and Athens and became acquainted with St Gregory Nazaianzen in 352. He opened a school of oratory in Caesarea and practiced law. He then decided to become a monk and founded a monastery in Pontus, directing it for five years. He wrote a monastic rule which became the most lasting of those from the East. He founded several other monasteries and in 370  was ordained bishop of Caesaria. He was in this post until his death in 379. He is a Doctor of the Church and was called the "Great" during his life. Basil is responsible for the victory of Nicene orthodoxy over Arianism in the Byzantine East anddenouncedd Arianism at the Council of Constantinope in 381-82. He fought simony, aided those who were victims of drought and famine, denounced evil and excommunicated those involved in the prostitution traffic in Cappadocia. 

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