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Fathers of the Church

Letter LXXX: to Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria

Description

Basil continues to enlist Athanasius' help in healing the rift in the Church between East and West.

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

THE worse the diseases of the Churches grow, the more do we all turn to your excellency, in the belief that your championship is the one consolation left to us in our troubles. By the power of your prayers, and your knowledge of what is the best course to suggest in the emergency, you are believed to be able to save us from this terrible tempest by all alike who know your excellency even to a small extent, whether by hearsay or by personal experience. Wherefore, cease not, I implore, to pray for our souls and to rouse us by your letters. Did you but know of what service these are to us you would never have lost a single opportunity of writing. Could I only, by the aid of your prayers, be deemed worthy of seeing you, and of enjoying your good qualities, and of adding to the story of my life a meeting with your truly great and apostolical soul, then I should indeed believe that I had received from God's mercy a consolation equivalent to all the afflictions of my life.

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.