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September 17 , 2010

Saint Basil the Great


History dictates that we travel back to the 4th Century, to Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia, in Asia Minor, where Basil the Great was born in 329.
Saint Basil the Great was born into a very comfortable life, his family owning considerable land and possessions. But their worldly goods did not own them. As Saints beget Saints, his early life would be molded by the example left by his parents' virtuous and pious life. Both dry martyrs, (Dry Martyr - one who suffers all forms of persecution, except that of shedding his/her blood, for the Faith.) his parents suffered and endured harsh persecution under the heartless emperor Maximinus Galerius, who sentenced them to many arduous, cruel years in the unforgiving wilds of the mountains of Pontus.
Tyrannical rulers, of every age, always go after those who would dare influence the many to lead a Christian life filled with hope and promise. St. Basil the Elder (Saint Basil's father) was one of those men. As a highly reputed teacher in Cappadocia, he called all who met him to live a more godly life, not only by his words but by his example. Preach hope! This didn't fit into the emperor's plans - Basil the Elder had to be silenced - send him and his wife away - far away!
Nothing is by coincidence, except by holy coincidence. What heritage we leave our children comes to bear fruit in generations to come. Basil the Elder married Emmelia, the daughter of a martyr - and they were to know martyrdom - dry martyrdom. And what was their reward? The Lord granted them ten children to bring into the world; four of which would be honored and revered as Saints: Saints Macrina, Basil the Great, Peter of Sebaste and Gregory of Nyssa. Three of them, Saints Peter of Sebaste, Gregory of Nyssa, and Basil the Great, would be ordained Bishops.

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