THE LIFE OF SAINT BASIL THE GREAT (Part II)

JANUARY 1st – THE FEAST AND THEHOLY LIFE OF SAINT BASIL THE GREAT(Part II)   

Several years passed, and the blessed Basil asked God to send down the grace of the Holy Spirit to enlighten his understanding and give him wisdom so that he might offer the UNBLOODY SACRIFICE using his won words.  Until that time the Greek-speaking Christians had celebrated the Divine Liturgy only in Hebrew.  Saint Basil for seven days; then the Holy Spirit descended and he went into ecstasy.  Coming to himself, he celebrated the liturgy daily for some time and prepared for the awesome task of writing the NEW VERSION OF THE SACRED SERVICE.  Finally, with a prayer on his lips and his heart full of faith, the great hierarch began work.  That night he returned to the church, and while he was setting out bread and wine on the Table of Preparation (Prothesis), the Lord appeared to him with the holy Apostles.  Saint Basil fell prostrate, but Christ raised him up and said, “IN ACCORDANCE OF YOUR SUPPLICATION, YOUR MOUTH SHALL BE FILLED WITH PRAISE, AND YOU WILL PERFORM THE SERVICE USING YOUR OWN WORDS.”  The Lord shone with glory so bright that Saint Basil, who was shaking with fear, could not endure to look upon Him.  When the vision ended, the Saint took a scroll and wrote in Greek the following words:  “Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may hymn Thy glory.”  Then he began the service, the Liturgy that came to be known by his name, with such prayers as, “O Lord our God, Who hast fashioned us an brought us into this life,” and the prayer at the ELEVATION:,  “Attend, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, from Thy holy habitation and form the Throne of the glory of Tand through Kingdom, and come to Thou to SANCTIFY US, Thou Who art seated on High with the Father, yet INVISIBLY REMAINEST WITH US HERE.  By Thy Mighty hand vouchsafe to bestow the Holy Things which are FOR THE HOLY upon us, “and through us UPON THE PEOPLE.”  Afterward, Saint Basil recorded these prayers and the others on the scroll.  Evvulos and the clergy of higher rank saw A HEAVENLY LIGHT ILLUMINATING THE SANCTUARY (ALTAR) AND THE BISHOP AS HE OFFERED THE HOLY EUCHARIST, AND RADIANT MEN CLOTHED IN WHITE GARMENTS SURROUND THE Great Hierarch.  Awestruck, they fell to the floor, weeping and glorifying God.   

About that time Saint Basil summoned a smith and had him fashion a golden dove to represent the one that appeared when Christ was baptized in the River Jordan.  The Saint hung it over the Holy Table as a receptacle for reserving the Divine Mysteries… Such was the gift of grace possessed by Saint Basil, that when he ELEVATED THE Holy Gifts during the Divine Liturgy, the DOVE HOLDING THE RESERVED MYSTERIES SHOOK THRICE, INDICATING THAT THE Holy Spirit WAS DESCENDING.   

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus received word of his friend’s death and hastened to Caesarea to take part in the funeral at which he shed copious tears.  Other bishops assembled, joining the Theologian in chanting the funeral service in the Church of the Holy Martyr Eupsychius.  At its conclusion, they buried the precious remains of Heaven’s great favorite Basil, praising God Who is one in Trinity.  To Him be glory unto the ages.  Amen.  (Source: The Great Collection of The Lives of the Saints)

“Glory Be To GOD For All Things!”

– Saint John Chrysostomos

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George

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