Our venerable father Basil the Confessor was a monk and suffered during the reign of the iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian. When a persecution started against those who venerated holy icons, St. Basil and his companion St. Procopius of Decapolis were subjected to much torture and locked up in prison. Here both martyrs languished for a long while, until the death of the impious emperor. When the holy Confessors Basil and Procopius were set free along with other venerators of holy icons, they continued in their monastic struggles, instructing many in the Orthodox Faith and virtuous life.
You made the wilderness your dwelling, O father Basil, the bearer of God. You became an angel in the flesh and a wonderworker. Through fasts, vigils, and prayers, you obtained from God special graces to heal the sick and to sanctify the souls of those who come to you with trust. Glory to the One who gave you strength! Glory to the One who crowned you! Glory to the One who through your intercession grants healing to all!
Holy and wise father, when you received your calling from God, you left the troubles of this world and embraced the ascetic life. Most holy Basil, you received the graces of miracles and healing diseases.
Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out in the field.” When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. The Lord asked Cain, Where is your brother Abel? He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” God then said: What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! Now you are banned from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. If you till the ground, it shall no longer give you its produce. You shall become a constant wanderer on the earth. Cain said to the Lord: “My punishment is too great to bear. Look, you have now banished me from the ground. I must avoid you and be a constant wanderer on the earth. Anyone may kill me at sight.” Not so! The Lord said to him. If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged seven times. So the Lord put a mark on Cain, so that no one would kill him at sight. Cain then left the Lord’s presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
My son, to my wisdom be attentive, to understanding incline your ear,
That you may act discreetly, and your lips guard what you know.
Indeed, the lips of the stranger drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil;
But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, as sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death, her steps reach Sheol;
Her paths ramble, you know not where, lest you see before you the road to life.
So now, children, listen to me, do not stray from the words of my mouth.
Keep your way far from her, do not go near the door of her house,
Lest you give your honor to others, and your years to a merciless one;
Lest outsiders take their fill of your wealth, and your hard-won earnings go to another’s house;
And you groan in the end, when your flesh and your body are consumed;
And you say, “Oh, why did I hate instruction, and my heart spurn reproof!
Why did I not listen to the voice of my teachers, incline my ear to my instructors!
I am all but ruined, in the midst of the public assembly!”
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, February 27 –