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Fathers of the Church

Letter XXX: to Eusebius of Samosata

Description

Basil mentions the death of his mother, and notes that the the churches of Neocaesarea and Ancyra have replaced their deceased bishops (see Letters XXVIII and XXIX).

Provenance

St. Basil's correspondence is a copious and invaluable store of information for the history of the Eastern Church in the fourth century, particularly in Cappadocia. Since he never found a real biographer, his letters represent the best source for his life and times, for his many activities and far-reaching influence, especially for his personality and his character. (Quasten)

by Basil the Great in 357-370 | translated by Blomfield Jackson, M.A

IF I were to write at length all the causes which, up to the present time, have kept me at home, eager as I have been to set out to see your reverence, I should tell an interminable story. I say nothing of illnesses coming one upon another, hard winter weather, and press of work, for all this has been already made known to you. Now, for my sins, I have lost my Mother, the only comfort I had in life. Do not smile, if, old as I am, I lament my orphanhood. Forgive me if I cannot endure separation from a soul, to compare with whom I see nothing in the future that lies before me. So once more my complaints have come back to me; once more I am confined to my bed, tossing about in my weakness, and every hour all but looking for the end of life; and the Churches are in somewhat the same condition as my body, no good hope shining on them, and their state always changing for the worse. In the meantime Neocaesarea and Ancyra have decided to have successors of the dead, and so far they are at peace. Those who are plotting against me have not yet been permitted to do anything worthy of their bitterness and wrath. This we make no secret of attributing to your prayers on behalf of the Churches. Weary not then in praying for the Churches and in entreating God. Pray give all salutations to those who are privileged to minister to your Holiness.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (PNPF II/VIII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.