Book of Saints – Saint Basil the Great

detail of an illustration of Saint Basil the Caesarea, by Francesco Bartolozzi, 19th century; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

January 2

Basil was born at Caesarea, in Asia Minor, in the year 329. His mother and father were nobles and also Saints. There were ten children in the family, four of whom became Saints.

Basil went to school in Constantinople and then in Athens, and later became an eloquent lawyer in Caesarea. But he felt that God called him to become a monk. He sold all his goods, gave the money to the poor, and became a monk.

Basil visited the monks who lived in the desert and founded several monasteries. He drew up rules for the monks to lead them to holiness. Although he was in poor health, Basil lived a life of penance and prayer.

Basil became the Archbishop of Caesarea and defended this people against the Roman Emperor.

Basil wrote many books and defended the Church against the Arian heretics. He was given the titles “Doctor of the Church,” and “Father of the Church.” Basil died in the year 379.

MLA Citation

  • Father Lawrence George Lovasik, S.V.D.. “Saint Basil the Great”. Book of Saints. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 January 2019. Web. 23 January 2019. <>