January 2, 2018

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Basil of Ancyra (+ 362)

St. Basil the Martyr of Ancyra (Feast Day - January 2)


The roaring, wide gape and bite of the wild beast,
Meek Basil did not fear.

The Holy Martyr Basil lived during the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363), and was from the city of Ancyra.* Because he believed in Christ, he was arrested, brought before the governor Saturninus, and with much boldness confessed Christ before him. Thus he was suspended and flogged without mercy. Then he was brought from Ancyra to Constantinople, and he was again flogged there. And the renowned one was placed under such tension, that the joints of his arms and shoulders were pulled out of their sockets. Then he was struck with leather straps, which were removed from his body. And with fiery irons they stabbed his flesh. All of these unbearable torments were endured bravely by this man who was of a staunch soul, and in return he received help and support from God. When he was cast into a fiery furnace, he was amazingly kept from being harmed by his prayers.

He was then taken bound to Caesarea, and sentenced by the governor there to fight the wild beasts. While he was praying a lioness struck him, and he died, thus receiving the crown of martyrdom. His sacred relic was then carefully gathered by some relatives and friends, wrapped in sheets with myrrh, and buried with the proper honor in a distinguished place. Later a sacred church was built there in his holy name.**


* This Saint, a layman, should not be confused with the other Saint Basil of Ancyra, who was a priest (Mar. 22).

** His sacred head can be found today in the Holy Metropolis of Thessaliotis and Fanariofersala. A portion of his relic is also located in the Monastery of Makrymalles in Psachna of Evia.