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Basil the Great

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Our Father Among the Saints '''Basil the Great''' (ca. 330 - [[January 1]], 379), was [[bishop]] of Caesarea, a leading churchman in the 4th century. The Church considers him a [[saint]] and one of the [[Three Holy Hierarchs]], together with Saints [[Gregory the Theologian]] (Gregory Nazianzus) and [[John Chrysostom]]. Basil, Saint Gregory the Theologian, and Basil's brother Saint [[Gregory of Nyssa]] are called the [[Cappadocian Fathers]]. The [[Roman Catholic Church]] also considers him a saint and calls him a Doctor of the Church.
Basil's memory is celebrated on [[January 1]]; he is also remembered on [[January 30]] with the [[Three Holy Hierarchs]]. In Greek tradition, he is supposed to visit children and give presents every [[January 1]]. This festival is also marked by the baking of Saint Basil's bread (Gr. ''Vasilópita''), a sweetbread with a coin hidden inside.
While still a child, the family moved to Pontus; but he soon returned to Cappadocia to live with his mother's relations, and seems to have been brought up by his grandmother Macrina.
Eager to learn, he went to Constantinople and spent four or five years there and at Athens, where he had Gregory the Theologian for a fellow student and became friends with the future emperor [[Julian the Apostate|Julian]].
Both men were deeply influenced by [[Origen]], and compiled the well known anthology of uncondemned Origenist writings known as the ''[[Philokalia]]''.
It was at Athens that he seriously began to think of religion, and resolved to seek out the most famous hermit saints in Syria and Arabia, in order to learn from them how to attain enthusiastic piety and how to keep his body under submission by asceticism.

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