Some Awesome People

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saint Basil the Great

Ordinary Time: June 14th


Born in 329 at Caesarea, Asia Minor (modern Turkey).

Born to the nobility, his was a pious family – his mother, father, and four of his nine siblings were canonized, including Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Grandson of Saint Macrina the Elder. As a youth, Basil was noted for organizing famine relief and for working in the kitchens himself, quite unusual for a young noble.

He studied in Constantinople and Athens with his friend Saint Gregory Nazianus. Ran a school of oratory and law in Caesarea. Basil was so successful, so sought after as a speaker that he was tempted by pride. Fearful that it would overtake his piety, he sold all that he had, gave away the money and became a priest and monk.

Founded monasteries and drew up rules for monks living in the desert; he is considered as key to the founding of eastern monasticism as Saint Benedict of Nursia was to the west. Bishop and Archbishop of Caesarea. Conducted Mass and preached to the crowds twice each day. Fought Arianism. Died in 379 at Caesarea.

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