Basil’s social doctrine is grounded in the conviction that all people are equal and share the same human nature. The poor, the rich and the emperor are all companions in slavery, that is, they are all dependent on God. Moreover, human beings are social creatures and communal life and interaction with one another require a generosity that can alleviate the needs of the destitute. The scriptural command to “Give to anyone who asks” calls us to a sharing and a mutual love that are characteristic of human nature. The Acts of the Apostles teaches us how this is to be put into practice. In the first ecclesial community of Jerusalem, the Christians sold their goods and gave the money to apostles to distribute to those who needed it.
Basil encouraged the faithful Christians of his time to respond to the Gospel injunction to “sell your possessions and give to those in need.” He had long ago responded to this call and committed himself with all his heart to a life of voluntary poverty. In the Acts of the Apostles, the giving away of one’s possessions is presented as a free choice, and in the Gospel it is seen as a condition of perfection. However, Basil became even more radical and saw it as a rule of life for all Christians. Moved by the extreme social needs of the population, and enlightened by the Scriptures, Basil insisted that the produce of the earth was intended for all. While God the Creator had indeed distributed it unevenly, he had done this with the intention that the rich should share with the poor.
ARCHBISHOP OF CAESAREA
BASIL THE GREAT (Orthodox Wiki)
Our father among the saints Basil the Great (ca. 330 - January 1, 379), was bishop of Caesarea, a leading churchman in the 4th century. The Church considers him a saint and one of the Three Holy Hierarchs, together with Saints Gregory the Theologian(Gregory Nazianzus) and John Chrysostom. Basil, Gregory the Theologian, and Basil's brother Saint Gregory of Nyssa are called theCappadocian Fathers. The Roman Catholic Church also considers him a saint and calls him a Doctor of the Church.
Basil's memory is celebrated on January 1; he is also remembered on January 30 with the Three Holy Hierarchs. In Greek tradition, he is supposed to visit children and give presents every January 1. This festival is also marked by the baking of Saint Basil's bread(Gr. Vasilópita), a sweetbread with a coin hidden inside.
He should not be confused with Saint Basil the Blessed, Fool-for-Christ, a Russian saint, after whom St. Basil's Cathedral, on Red Square in Moscow, is named.
He also should not be confused with Saint Basil of Ostrog, a Serbian saint, who built the Ostrog Monastery which is caved in and stands on a very high hill between Danilovgrad and Niksic.
Icon of St. Basil the Great from the
St. Sophia Cathedral of Kiev
|Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church; Great Hierarch|
|Born||329 or 330|
|Died||January 1 or 2, 379|
|Venerated in||Eastern Orthodox Church|
Roman Catholic Church
|Attributes||vested as bishop, wearingomophorion, 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, Hospitaladministrators, Reformers,Monks, Education, Exorcism,Liturgists|
Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great (Greek: Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας, Ágios Basíleios o Még