Saturday Saints- #3

In the third post of this series, I cover Saint Basil of Caesarea, also known as St. Basil the Great:

Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great, (329 or 330 – January 1, 379) (Greek: Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας) was the Greek bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was an influential theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early Christian church, fighting against both Arianism and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea. His ability to balance his theological convictions with his political connections made Basil a powerful advocate for the Nicene position.

In addition to his work as a theologian, Basil was known for his care of the poor and underprivileged. Basil established guidelines for monastic life which focus on community life, liturgical prayer, and manual labour. Together with Pachomius he is remembered as a father of communal monasticism in Eastern Christianity. He is considered a saint by the traditions of both Eastern and Western Christianity.

Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa are collectively referred to as the Cappadocian Fathers. The Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches have given him, together with Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom, the title of Great Hierarch. He is recognized as a Doctor of the Church in both Eastern Orthodoxy and in the Roman Catholic Church. He is sometimes referred to by the epithet “Ουρανοφαντωρ”, “revealer of heavenly mysteries”.

This extract was taken from the wikipedia article on St. Basil, and I strongly encourage everyone to read through it. He was a fascinating man, balancing deep thought and discernment with active service to his flock and those in need.

St. Basil the Great

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Saturday Saints- #3

  1. mdavid444444

    SG, Basil established guidelines for monastic life which focus on community life, liturgical prayer, and manual labor.

    I often wonder if monastic life is a possible answer to the social decline of the West. Sort of a place of refuge against the culture where regular people can have a community life that doesn’t involve institutional sin. This might evolve naturally in the next few decades, sort of like a Darwinian version of the Benedict Option.

  2. Mdavid,

    I do think that what you describe will be a tempting option for some in the years ahead. One problem will be determining when to break away. Go too soon, and you give up a lot of development ability; go too late and you risk being caught up in the storm before making it to safety.

  3. mdavid444444

    Go too soon, and you give up a lot of development ability; go too late and you risk being caught up in the storm before making it to safety.

    I see it more like people drifting toward community…merely to avoid what is out there. They aren’t giving up development; on the contrary, would gain. People might gravitate to these communities simply because they are the best place to live: to have families, to save wealth, to live and die. The broader culture has become hostile to family, and people who aren’t the top 10% seek an oasis. Similar to how the Mormons do it today – everyone tithes, yet most of the rich still benefit from the group with social order: marriage, jobs, family. By the Benedict Option I could see an exclusionary group that provides cultural stability where people give up modern freedoms…merely to avoid the mess that’s out there.

  4. Pingback: Saturday Saints- Registry | Donal Graeme

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