An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Basil the Great

(c. 330-Jan. 1, 379). Principal architect of monasticism in the east. He was born in Caesarea in Cappadocia. After his baptism in 357, Basil founded a monastery on a family estate in Pontus. His ascetical writings helped to promote monasticism in the east. The Rule of St. Basil, in two forms, shaped monasticism in Eastern Orthodoxy. In 370 Basil became Bishop of Caesarea. He spent the rest of his life opposing the Arians and the Macedonians in the east. Basil was one of the earliest theologians to insist on the divinity of the Holy Spirit. The Liturgy of St. Basil, which he either wrote or revised, is the source for Eucharistic Prayer D in Rite 2 of the BCP (p. 372). Basil, his brother, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus are known as the “Cappadocian Fathers.” Basil is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on June 14.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.