July 3, 2018

Saint Basil, Bishop of Ryazan (+ 1295)

St. Basil of Ryazan (Feast Day - June 10 & July 3)

Saint Basil, the Wonderworker of Ryazan, is mentioned in the Laurentian Chronicles. In the ancient list of Ryazan hierarchs, he is mentioned as the fourth.

In about the year 1540 the monk Erazm Ermolaev wrote “The Tale of Basil, Bishop of Ryazan and Murom”. This connects with Saint Basil the transfer to Ryazan of the wonderworking Murom Icon of the Mother of God (Apr. 12). Basil was at first bishop of Murom. But by the slander of the devil, the citizens rose up against him, unjustly accusing him of shameful behavior with young women, and they demanded he be put to death. Then the Saint, after prolonged prayer, left for the River Oka, and spreading out on the water his bishop’s mantiya he stood upon it, holding in his hands the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos of Murom. A strong wind carried him against the current and after several hours he reached Ryazan, where he was received with reverence by the prince and people of Ryazan. He was made Bishop in 1291.

Even during his lifetime Saint Basil was regarded a righteous and pious man. He reposed in peace on July 3, 1295. Long before his relics were uncovered at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Ryazan people cherished his memory and called him “their constant intercessor, helper in sorrows and travail.” To him most often they turned before setting out on journeys: seeking his help against problems on dry land, and to protect them from drowning in the water.

The relics of Saint Basil were found in Ryazan near Borisoglebsk Cathedral on June 10, 1609, and transferred to the Uspensky-Dormition (now Khristorozhdestvensky) Cathedral. The discovery and transfer of the holy relics of the Saint was accomplished by Archbishop Theodoret of Ryazan (1605-1617). The relics were laid near the left choir. At the same time, an apolytikion and kontakion were compiled for the Saint. Since that time the name of Saint Basil is commemorated in all the churches of the Ryazan diocese.

By a decree of 1814, the Holy Synod allowed the celebration of the memory of Saint Basil on May 21, together with the Murom Wonderworkers. By the Decree of the Holy Synod of 1881, the days of the commemoration of the memory of Saint Basil were approved: on July 3 - the day of his blessed death, and on June 10 - the day of the translation of his relics.