June 10

From the Prologue

Bassian was born a pagan in Syracuse of prominent and wealthy pagan parents. He was educated in philosophy in Rome. By his earnest desire, he was baptized by the pious Elder Gordianus. This offended his parents and, to escape their wrath, and according to the command of Saint John the Theologian, who appeared to him, Bassian traveled to Ravenna and reported to Bishop Ursus, his kinsman. At the advice of the bishop, Bassian took up residence at the church of the Holy Martyr Apollinarius, outside the city. There he lived a long life of asceticism, of labor, of fasting and of prayer. When the bishop of the city of Lodi in Liguria died, Bassian was elected according to a revelation in a dream even though he did not desire it. He was consecrated bishop by Ambrose of Milan and Ursus of Ravenna. Bassian possessed the great gift of healing and could also resurrect the dead. Bassian was present at the final moments of Saint Ambrose and heard from his mouth how he sees the Lord Jesus Christ. Bassian lived in labor and asceticism to an old age and in the ninetieth year of his life died and was translated into the Kingdom of God about the year 409 A.D. Bassian's holy relics remained miracle-working to witness to the power of God and the greatness of God's saints.



Saint Bassian, loved the Lord,

Bassian holy, to the Lord prayed,

Upon him, the merciful Lord bestowed Grace,

What all men do, Bassian discerned,

How the demons dance the evil dance,

And how, men to evil, they incite.

Once Bassian through the town walked,

Saw a merchant, as he falsely weighs,

And on the scale, stands the devil black,

And crookedly weighs and wrongly counts,

To the merchant it is dear, that all men he deceives

And with a few goods, makes a lot of profit!

Bassian holy, toward the store walks:

To the merchant cried out: Open your eyes!

Because of easy gain, O do not be glad,

Open your eyes behold your partner!

In that the merchant, his eyes were opened,

Noticed the devil and fell backward,

Filled with fear, filled with trembling,

All gain he saw was cursed.

Began to sob bitterly and before the saint knelt

To Bassian he said: Pray for me.

Repent ye, Repent! Bassian instructs him,

That your soul eternally does not suffer,

To his accomplice the devil, the money he gives,

But he [the devil] his soul seeks in return.

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