January 1, 2016

Synaxarion for Saint Basil the Great

On this day [January 1] we commemorate our Holy Father Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia.


Basil lives and dies in the Lord.
He lives also with us as speaking from his books.
Basil died on the first of January.

Our Holy Father Basil flourished during the reign of Emperor Valens (364-378), and presented himself before Valens for his Orthodox faith and rebuked him, for Valens fell into the cacodoxies of the Arians, and in a wild and beastly manner he maltreated and fought against the Orthodox Churches. From his father he was from the area of the Black Sea, and from his mother he was a Cappadocian, and lived in what is called Karaman. In esteem and education, he excelled, not only in the notables of his time, but even in the ancient philosophers. He passed through all forms of education, and became authoritative and prevailing in their acquisition. Not only this, but he also actively practiced philosophy. And by this activity he was elevated to the vision of the nature of created things. Therefore, he was also elevated to the throne of the Hierarchy.

When he became a Hierarch, the blessed one endured many struggles for the Orthodox faith. With the steadfastness and nobility of his mind, he astounded the prefect Modestus. With the Orthodox discourses that he composed, he thundered against the minds of the cacodox, and the state of their character he adjusted. He taught ascetic philosophy, and made clear the knowledge of the nature of created things. In summary, this Saint led Christ's rational flock to salvation through every virtue, and departed to the Lord.

According to the features of his body, Basil the Great was very tall, lean and thin, his face dark in color with a mix of yellow. He was long-nosed with round brow and the skin above his brow was orderly. He looked like someone who was thoughtful and careful with himself. His face was wrinkled with few wrinkles, his cheeks long, and his head thick with hairs that were orderly and round. It seemed from his appearance that he had his hair cut few times. His beard was plenty long and the hairs were a mix of black and white. His Synaxis is held in the Most Holy Great Church.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Thy fame has gone forth into all the earth, which has received thy word. Thereby thou hast taught the Faith; thou hast revealed the nature of created things; thou hast made a royal priesthood of the ordered life of men. Venerable Father Basil, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou wast an unshaken foundation of the Church and didst give to all mortals an inviolate lordship which thou didst seal with thy doctrine, O venerable Basil, revealer of the mysteries of heaven.