Fathers of the Church

Letter CCXVIII: to Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium

Description

Basil asks Amphilochius to find out who are holding true to the faith.

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

BROTHER AELIANUS has himself completed the business concerning which he came. and has stood in neeed of no aid from me. l owe him, however, double thanks, both for bringing me a letter from your reverence and for affording me an opportunity of writing to you. By him, therefore, I salute your true and unfeigned love, and beseech you to pray for me more than ever now, when I stand in such need of the aid of your prayers. My health has suffered terribly from the journey to Pontus and my sickness is unendurable. One thing I have long been anxious to make known to you. I do not mean to say that I have been so affected by any other cause as to forget it, but now I wish to put you in mind to send some good man into Lycia, to enquire who are of the right faith, for peradventure they ought not to be neglected, if indeed the report is true, which has been brought to me by a pious traveller from thence, that they have become altogether alienated from the opinion of the Asiani and wish to embrace communions with us. If any one is to go let him enquire at Corydala for Alexander, the late monk, the bishop; at Limyra for Diotimus, and at Myra for Tatianus, Polemo, and Macarius presbyters; at Patara for Eudemus, the bishop; at Telmessus for Hilarius, the bishop: at Phelus for Lallianus, the bishop. Of these and of more besides I have been informed that they are sound in the faith, and I have been grateful to God that even any in the Asian region should be clear of the heretic's pest. If, then, it be possible, let us in the meanwhile make personal enquiry about them. When we have obtained information I am for writing a letter, and am anxious to invite one of them to meet me. God grant that all may go well with that Church at Iconium, which is so dear to me. Through you I salute all the honourable clergy and all who are associated with your reverence.

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.