Saint Days: Basil the Great, Bishop and Teacher of the Faith
Basil the Great (329-379) is known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers, alongside Gregory of Nanzianzus and Gregory of Nyssa. He is also considered a Doctor of the Church in Roman Catholicism and is sometimes called Ouraophantor ("revealer of heavenly mysteries").
He was born into a Christian family known for its piety. He had four siblings, all of whom are considered saints: Macrina the Younger, Naucratius, Peter of Sebaste, and Gregory of Nyssa.
He spent time in Athens, Egypt, and Syria before returning to Caesarea. His life changed after meeting Eustathius of Sebaste, a Bishop and ascetic. He was drawn to monastic life.
In 362, he was ordained a deacon. Three years later, he became a priest and fought the heresy of Arianism (a belief that Jesus was not pre-existent with the Father but was, at some point, created).
In 370, he was consecrated as a bishop. He created a soup kitchen during a famine and drought and worked to reform thieves and prostitutes. He died in 379 from liver disease.
He provides us a great reminder about living out Christian love:
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”
Let us remember Basil the Great in our prayers today:
Almighty God, you gave to your servant Basil the Great special gifts of grace to understand and teach the truth as it is in Christ Jesus: Grant that by this teaching we may know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.