Thursday, January 17, 2008

St. Basil the Great

St. Basil the Great was born around A.D. 329, and died on January 1, 379.

St. Basil and his wife, St. Macrina, suffered under the persecution of Maximinus Galerius (305-314). They fled to the mountains where they suffered many privations, thereby St. Macrina is regarded as a "Confessor of the Faith". Their son, St. Basil the Elder, married St. Emmelia, the daughter of a martyr, and among their ten children were St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Peter of Sebastea, St. Macrina the Younger.

St. Basil the Great wrote nine homilies on the six days of creation, known as "The Hexaemeron" (Links are provided below).

He studied in Caesarea, Constantinople, and later in Athens, where he became friends with St. Gregory of Nazianzus. They joined their efforts in confronting heresies, especially Arianism. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Basil the Great, and Basil's brother, St. Gregory of Nyssa, became known as "The Three Cappadocians."

St. Basil became Bishop of Caesarea in 370, and greatly influenced theology in both the East and West.

St. Basil's insights into the first chapters of Genesis are remarkable for their clear apologetic of the biblical doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. We have read excerpts from the first two sermons and tomorrow we will read the full text of St. Basil's third homily.

Related reading:

Homily I: In the Beginning, God Created the Heaven and the Earth
Homily II: The Earth was Invisible and Unfinished
Homily III: On the Firmament
Homily IV: Upon the Gathering Together of the Waters
Homily V: The Germination of the Earth
Homily VI: The Creation of Luminous Bodies
Homily VII: The Creation of Moving Creatures
Homily VIII: The Creation of Fowl and Water Animals
Homily IX: The Creation of Terrestrial Animals

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