Fathers of the Church

Letter LXII: to the Church of Parnassus

Description

A consolatory letter to the Church of Parnassus upon the death of their bishop.

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

FOLLOWING an ancient custom, which has obtained for many years, and at the same time shewing you love in God, which is the fruit of the Spirit, I now, my pious friends, address this letter to you. I feel with you at once in your grief at the event which has befallen you, and in your anxiety at the matter which you have in hand. Concerning all these troubles I can only say, that an occasion is given us to look to the injunctions of the Apostle, and not to sorrow "even as others which have no hope." I do not mean that we should be insensible to the loss we have suffered, but that we should not succumb to our sorrow, while we count the Pastor happy in his end. He has died in a ripe old age, and has found his rest in the great honour given him by his Lord.

As to the future I have this recommendation to give you. You must now lay aside all mourning; you must come to yourselves you must rise to the necessary management of the Church; to the end that the holy God may give heed to His own little flock, and may grant you a shepherd in accordance with His own will, who may wisely feed you.

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.