The PriestMartyr Basil
Commemorated on March 22
Basil was a presbyter in Galatian Ancyra. During the time of the widespread
Arian heresy he summoned his flock to hold on firmly to Orthodoxy. For this
Saint Basil was deprived of the priestly dignity by a local Arian council, but
at a Palestine Council of 230 bishops he was restored to the dignity of
presbyter. Saint Basil openly continued his preaching, denouncing the Arians,
and for this he became the victim of persecution and was subjected to beating
as a man allegedly dangerous to the state. Two apostates – Elpidios and
Pegasios – were appointed for breaking away Saint Basil from Orthodoxy. But
the saint remained unshakable and for this was again subjected to tortures.
When the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) arrived in the city of Ancyra,
Saint Basil afront him at the trial bravely confessed Christ, and denounced the
emperor for his apostasy. Julian gave orders to cut a strip of skin from the
back of the saint. But the holy Presbyter Basil undauntedly endured the
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.