St Basil and St Gregory

Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (1: 19-28) in which John the Baptist declares he is not the Christ but rather a ‘voice that cries in the wilderness make a straight way for the Lord’.

Today we celebrate the feasts of St Basil and St Gregory and Fr Paul shares a little about their lives.

St Basil was born in 330 at Caesarea in Cappadocia. He was a brilliant scholar and a virtuous man. He started his religious life as a hermit but was made Bishop of Caesarea in 370. He wrote many notable works, including monastic rule of St Basil, which many monks in the East follow to this day. Basil died on 1 January 379.

St Gregory, who we also celebrate today, was born in 330 near Nanzianzus. Gregory travelled widely in search of knowledge and at one point he was a follower of Basil. He too was ordained and, he too, was later made a Bishop.  He was elected Bishop of Constantinople in 381 but due to infighting within the Church he retired to Nanzianzus where he died in 389 or 390.

As we celebrate their feast days, Fr Paul says, as part of our reflection, we ask that St Basil and St Gregory pray for us.