Basil of Caesarea

Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great (Ancient Greek: Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας, Hágios Basíleios ho Mégas; Coptic: Ⲡⲓⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ Ⲃⲁⲥⲓⲗⲓⲟⲥ; 330[8] – January 1 or 2, 379), was an East Roman 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.


Basil the Great
Μέγας Βασίλειος
Icon of St. Basil the Great from the
St. Sophia Cathedral of Kiev
Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church; Great Hierarch
Born330
Caesarea, Cappadocia, Byzantine Empire
DiedJanuary 1 or 2, 379 (aged 48)
Caesarea, Cappadocia, Byzantine Empire
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodoxy
Roman Catholic Church
Anglican Communion
Lutheranism
CanonizedPre-congregation
FeastJanuary 1[1][2] and January 30[3][4] (Byzantine Christianity)

January 14 (Serbian Christian Orthodox)
January 2 (General Roman Calendar; Anglicanism)
January 14th, Thout 6 (Coptic Orthodox Church)[5]
ጥር 6 (Ethiopian Christianity)
January 10 (Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod; Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)[6]
June 14 (General Roman Calendar from 13th century to 1969; Episcopal Church)
Thout 13 (Coptic Christianity)[7]

መስከረም 13 (Ethiopian Christianity)
AttributesVested 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.
PatronageRussia, Cappadocia, Hospital administrators, Reformers, Monks, Education, Exorcism, Liturgists

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 labor. 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, together with his brother Gregory of Nyssa and his friend Gregory of Nazianzus, 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 the Roman Catholic Church. He is sometimes referred to by the epithet Ouranophantor (Greek: Οὐρανοφάντωρ), "revealer of heavenly mysteries".[9]