The Hieromartyr Basil was a presbyter in Ancyra, Galatia. Fighting against the Arian heresy, he urged his flock to cling firmly to Orthodoxy. Because of this, St. Basil was deposed from his priestly rank by a local Arian council, but a Council of 230 bishops in Palestine reinstated him. St. Basil continued to openly preach Orthodoxy and denounce the Arians. He, therefore, became a victim of persecution and was subjected to punishment as a man dangerous to the state. The saint remained unshakable, and was tortured for it. When the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) arrived in the city of Ancyra, St. Basil bravely confessed Christ before him at trial, and denounced the emperor for his apostasy. Julian ordered that strips of skin be cut from the saint’s back. St. Bail endured the gruesome torture with great patience. Having made such a prayer, and lacerated all over by red-hot irons, the saint fell into a sweet slumber and gave up his soul to the hands of God on June 29, 362. His commemoration was transferred to March 22 because of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
O holy priest-martyr Basil, you lent yourself to the apostle’s way of life and succeeded them on their throne. Inspired by God, you found the way to contemplation through the practice of virtue. Therefore, you became a perfect teacher of truth, fighting for the faith unto the shedding of your blood. Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
You ran the course and kept the faith, O Basil. Because of this you were crowned with glory in martyrdom and hailed as an immovable pillar of the Church. You confessed the Son to be co-eternal in the Trinity with the Father and the Spirit. Now beg the Holy Trinity to save all of us who honor you.
Genesis 17: 1-9
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God.”
God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations.
Proverbs 15:20 – 16:9
A wise child makes a glad father, but the foolish despise their mothers.
Folly is a joy to one who has no sense, but a person of understanding walks straight ahead.
Without counsel, plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed.
To make an apt answer is a joy to anyone, and a word in season, how good it is!
For the wise the path of life leads upward, in order to avoid Sheol below.
The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but maintains the widow’s boundaries.
Evil plans are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure.
Those who are greedy for unjust gain make trouble for their households, but those who hate bribes will live.
The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil.
The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the body.
The ear that heeds wholesome admonition will lodge among the wise.
Those who ignore instruction despise themselves, but those who heed admonition gain understanding.
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honor.
The plans of the mind belong to mortals, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All one’s ways may be pure in one’s own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.
All those who are arrogant are an abomination to the Lord; be assured, they will not go unpunished.
By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.
When the ways of people please the Lord, he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them.
Better is a little with righteousness than large income with injustice.
The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Tuesday, March 21 –