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Fathers of the Church

Letter XXXV: Without Address

Description

A brief letter asking the addressee to treat Leontius well.

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

I HAVE written to you about many people as belonging to myself; now I mean to write about more. The poor can never fail, and I can never say, no. There is no one more intimately associated with me, nor better able to do me kindnesses wherever he has the ability, than the reverend brother Leontius. So treat his house as if you had found me, not in that poverty in which now by God's help I am living, but endowed with wealth and landed property. There is no doubt that you would not have made me poor, but would have taken care of what I had, or even added to my possessions. This is the way I ask you to behave in the house of Leontius. You will get your accustomed reward from me; my prayers to the holy God for the trouble you are taking in shewing yourself a good man and true, and in anticipating the supplication of the needy.'

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.