Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

basil_of_ancyra

It is said that about this period, (under the apostate emperor Julian in 363) Basil, presbyter of the church of Ancyra, and Eupsychius, a noble of Caesarea in Cappadocia, who had but just taken to himself a wife and was still a bridegroom, terminated their lives by martyrdom. I believe that Eupsychius was condemned in consequence of the demolition of the temple of Fortune, which, as I have already stated, excited the anger of the emperor against all the inhabitants of Caesarea. Indeed, all the actors in this transaction were condemned, some to death, and others to banishment. Basil had long manifested great zeal in defense of the faith, and had opposed the Arians during the reign of Constantius; hence the partisans of Eudoxius had prohibited him from holding public assemblies. On the accession of Julian, however, he traveled hither and thither, publicly and openly exhorting the Christians to cleave to their own doctrines, and to refrain from defiling themselves with pagan sacrifices and libations. He urged them to account as nothing the honors which the emperor might bestow upon them, such honors being but of short duration, and leading to eternal infamy. His zeal had already rendered him an object of suspicion and of hatred to the pagans, when one day he chanced to pass by and see them offering sacrifice. He sighed deeply, and uttered a prayer to the effect that no Christian might be suffered to fall into similar delusion. He was seized on the spot, and conveyed to the governor of the province. Many tortures were inflicted on him; and in the manly endurance of this anguish he received the crown of martyrdom. Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History 5.11 Basil of Ancyra, commemorated 22 March







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