Wednesday, June 14, 2017
St. Basil the Great

Double (1954 Calendar): June 14

St. Basil the Great (329-79) was the founder of a monastic colony at Pontus in Asia Minor, for which he wrote his famous Rule, which ranks in importance with that of St. Benedict in the West. In 370 he was made Metropolitan of Caesarea, and by his brave fight against a heresy then at its height and supported by the Emperor, he saved the whole of Cappadocia for the Catholic Faith. Basil's wonderful care for the poor inspired others to imitate his charity. His doctrinal writings were as outstanding as was his administration of his diocese; and his sublime work on the Holy Spirit has never been surpassed in Catholic theology.  He was a friend of St. Gregory Nazianzen.

The following is taken from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger:

The Doctors who form the fourfold glory of the Greek Church complete their sacred number, on the cycle, this day. John Chrysostom was the first to greet us with his radiant light, during Christmastide; the glorious Pasch saw the rise of two resplendent luminaries, Athanasius and Gregory Nazianzen; Basil the Great, having checked his effulgent blaze till now, illumines the reign of the Holy Ghost. He well deserves so distinguished a place, by reason of his eminent doctrine and brave combats, which prepared the way for the triumph of the divine Paraclete over the blasphemies of the impious sect of Macedonius, who used against the Third Person of the Consubstantial Trinity, the very same arguments invented by Arius against the Divinity of the Word. The Council of Constantinople, putting the finishing stroke to that of Nicæa, formulated the faith of the Churches, in Him who proceedeth from the Father, no less than doth the Word Himself, Who is adored and glorified conjointly with the Father and the Son. Basil was not there on the day of victory; prematurely exhausted by austerities and labors, he had been sleeping the sleep of peace for quite two years when this great definition was promulgated. But it was his teaching that inspired the assembled council; his word remains as the luminous expression of tradition, concerning the Holy Spirit, who is himself the divine loadstone attracting all in the vast universe that aspire after holiness, the potent breeze uplifting souls, the perfection of all things.


O Lord, graciously hear the prayers we offer on the feast of Your blessed confessor bishop Basil. Forgive us all our sins through the merits and intercession of this saint who served You so well on earth. Through our Lord . . .

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