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Fathers of the Church

Letter CVII: to the Widow Julitta

Description

Basil is assisting a widow with some of her affairs.

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 was grieved to find on reading your ladyship's letter that you are involved in the same difficulties. What is to be done to men who show such a shifty character, saying now one thing now another and never abiding in the same pledges? If, after the promises made in my presence, and in that of the ex-prefect, he now tries to shorten the time of grace as though nothing had been said, he does seem to have lost, as far as I am concerned, all sense of shame. Nevertheless I wrote to him, rebuking him, and reminding him of his promises. I wrote also to Helladius, who is of the household of the prefect, that information might be given through him about your affairs. I hesitated myself to make so free with an officer of such importance, on account of my never having yet written to him about my own private affairs and my fearing some adverse decision from him, great men, as you know, being easily annoyed about such matters. If, however, any good is to be done in the matter, it will be through Helladius, an excellent man, well disposed towards me, fearing God, and having perfectly free access to the prefect. The Holy One is able to deliver you from all affliction, if only truly and sincerely we fix all our hope on Him.

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.