Blessed Catholic Saints and Angels

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today Saint Basil the Great Feast

The Feast of Saint Basil the Great was moved in the 13th century to June 14 , a date believed to be that of his ordination as Bishop, and it remained on that date until the 1969 revision of the calendar, which moved it to January 2, rather than January 1, because the latter date is occuped by the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. On January 2 Saint Basil is celebrated together with Saint Gregory Nazianzen.

In back to back Doctors of the Church, today the Church celebrates another of the magnificent luminaries God rose up in the 4th century. The holy bishop and Doctor of the Church Saint Basil the Great also faced the intense persecutions and calumnies of the Arian bishops and suffered greatly, never complaining and living a life of austerity while his fellow Arian bishops lived high on the hog. Like his good life-long friend and fellow Doctor of the Church St. Gregory Nazianzen, he,too, came from holy stock and had two brothers who became bishops; a father, mother and sister who became saints. This Bishop of Caesarea is one of the few, along with Popes St. Leo I and St. Gregory I and St. Albert to be given the august title "Magnus" - great.

Saint Basil the Great lived a life of prayer and tranquility, far from the turbulence of city life until his bishop, Eusebius, called upon St. Basil in 364 to help defend orthodox Christianity against the Arian emperor, Valens. In 370 Basil was chosen to succeed Eusebius as bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Here he found himself in the thick of the fray between those Orthodox, Catholic Christians who confessed Christ's full divinity, and the various Arian parties who taught that Jesus was not equal to God the Father. He soon was also engaged in battling those called "Pneumatomachi" ("fighters against the spirit") who denied the full divinity of the Holy Spirit.

Saint Basil the Great is both a Father and a Doctor of the church for his holiness, invaluable writings and charitable actions.Saint Basil affirmed the religious character of Christian marriage and comments on Mary’s marriage to St Joseph. As all of the other doctors of the Church, Basil testifies to the eternal virginity of Mary and her great humility that he imitated throughout his life. He died at 49 worn out from good deeds and the love of God for others burning in his heart.

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