Feast of St. Basil the Great
St. Basil the Great was born at Caesarea of Cappadocia in 330. He was one of ten children of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia. He became bishop of Caesaria in 370. Basil was an accomplished statesman and a renowned theologian. He is also remembered as a defender of the poor and downtrodden. Basil fought simony, aided the victims of drought and famine. He denounced evil and excommunicated those involved in the widespread prostitution traffic in Cappadocia. Many of his sermons survive and he is regarded as one of the great orators of Christianity.
"Who is a man of greed? Someone who does not rest content with what is sufficient. Who is a cheater? Someone who takes away what belongs to others. And are you not a man of greed? are you not a cheater? taking those things which you received for the sake of stewardship, and making them your very own? Now, someone who takes a man who is clothed and renders him naked would be termed a robber; but when someone fails to clothe the naked, while he is able to do this, is such a man deserving of any other appellation? The bread which you hold back belongs to the hungry; the coat, which you guard in your locked storage-chests, belongs to the naked; the footwear moldering in your closet belongs to those without shoes. The silver that you keep hidden in a safe place belongs to the one in need. Thus, however many are those whom you could have provided for, so many are those whom you wrong."