Basil of Ancyra
Hieromartyr Basil of Ancyra, was a bishop in Ancyra, Galatia, (now Ankara, Turkey) during the fourth century. Originally, a member of the 'moderate' Semi-Arian party he took a leading part in the Council of Seleucia, but recanted the Semi-Arian formula and defended his orthodoxy against the threats of Emperor Julian the Apostate, and died a martyr. He is commemorated by the Orthodox church January 1 (and March 22 in the West, see Notes on sources).
In 336, Basil was chosen bishop by the members of the Semi-Arian party, succeeding Marcellus of Anycra as Bishop of Anycra. He was deposed by the Synod of Sardica in 343 then reinstated by Emperor Constantius II in 350. With George of Laodicea, Basil rose to the leadership of the homoiousian (Semi-Arian) party during the Arianism controversies and took a leading part in the Council of Seleucia in 359 that was convened by Constantius II. In 360, he was deposed in the Council of Constantinople of 360 by the Arian Bishop Acacius of Caesarea and exiled to Illyria.
After Julian the Apostate became emperor, Basil was caught up in the persecutions of Julian. Firmly defending his Orthodox Christian faith, he was arrested, tortured, and then executed on June 29, 362.
Note on sources
The various sources (external links) about a Basil of Ancyra point to Basil being any of three persons: one being a former Semi-Arian bishop who recanted to become a martyred Orthodox (as presented in this article), the second a layman, perhaps a physician, who was martyred defending his faith under the persecutions of Julius the Apostate (as noted in the OCA article and remembered on January 1), and the third, a priest of Ancyra, distinct from the bishop or the layman (celebrated March 22 in the OCA article).
- Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit you worthily received the anointing of the priesthood, O Basil.
- You offered your martyr's contest
- As a royal sacrifice to the King of the Ages.
- Righteous Father, entreat Christ God to grant us His great mercy.
Kontakion (Tone 8)
- Having run the race in righteousness,
- You preserved the faith, O Hieromartyr Basil.
- For this you were made worthy of the crown of martyrdom,
- And You have become an unshakable pillar of the Church,
- Confessing the undivided Trinity: the Son, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit.
- Entreat Him to deliver those who honor you from distress,
- That we may cry to you: Rejoice, O divinely wise Basil!
Kontakion (Tone 3)
- As a priest of the King of Glory,
- you also became a holy warrior by your contest.
- You shamed the counsels of the lawless
- And received the enjoyment of the heavenly Kingdom,
- Blessed hieromartyr of Christ, Basil.