Basil the Great
Last Updated: Sat, 24 Nov 2012 11:04:40 +0000
Basil the Great
Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church; Great Hierarch
Born 329 or 330 Caesarea, Cappadocia
Died January 1, 379) Caesarea, Cappadocia
Honored in Eastern and Western Christianity
January 1 and January 30 (Eastern Orthodox Churches)
January 2 (Roman Catholic Church; Anglican Church)
January 15 / January 16 (leap year) (Coptic Orthodox Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church)
June 14 (General Roman Calendar from 13th century to 1969; Episcopal Church; Lutheran Church)
Attributes vested as bishop, wearing omophorion, holding a Gospel Book or scroll. St. Basil is depicted in icons as thin and ascetic with a long, tapering black beard.
Patronage Russia, Cappadocia, Hospital administrators, Reformers, Monks, Education, Exorcism, Liturgists
Saint Basil the Great, also called Basil of Caesarea, (329 or 330 – January 1, 379) 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. His is recognised 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".
Tags: asia minor, anatolia, turkey, holy, church, father, church fathers, st. saint, saints, christian, bible, bishop, Basil the Great, Caesarea