One of the Cappadocian Fathers, Basil was born at Caesarea in Cappadocia around 330. His brother was Gregory of Nyssa and his sister Macrina. He was a brilliant theologian, a founder of monasticism and a devout bishop.
While receiving his education at the highly esteemed schools in Constantinople and Athens, he befriended Gregory Nazianzus, who no doubt influenced his decision to choose the monastic life. Later he was made bishop of Caesarea. Basil is recognized for his significant contribution on the development of dogma regarding the Holy Ghost. His efforts provided the Church protection against those Arians who tried to deny the full divinity of Christ by denying the full divinity of the Holy Spirit.
His labour for Christ was instrumental in keeping the Church from being torn asunder during this heretical time. Pray for more such defenders of the Faith.
He is counted (with the two Gregories) as one of the three Cappadocian Fathers, and (with Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom) as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs. In the West, he is reckoned (with Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, and Athanasius) as one of the Four Greek (Eastern) Doctors of the Undivided Church. (The Four Latin (Western) Doctors are Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great.)
Propers for Basil The Great - Bishop of Caesarea and Theologian
ALMIGHTY, everlasting God, whose servant Basil steadfastly confessed thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to be Very God and Very Man: Grant that we may hold fast to this faith, and evermore magnify his holy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle - 1 Corinthians 2:6-13.
The Gospel - St. Luke 10:22-24.
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