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Fathers of the Church

Letter CCXLVII: to the Nicopolitans

Description

Basil tells the addressees that he has written to public officials in order that the persecution may be somewhat abated.

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

WHEN I had read the letter of your holinesses, how did I not groan and lament that I had heard of these further troubles, of blows and insults inflicted on yourselves, of destruction of homes, devastation of the city, ruin of your whole country, persecution of the Church, banishment; of priests, invasion of wolves, and scattering of flocks. But I have looked to the Lord in heaven, and have ceased to groan and weep, because I am perfectly well assured, as I hope you know too, that help will speedily come and that you will not be for ever forsaken. What we have suffered, we have suffered for our sins. But our loving Lord will show us His own aid for the sake of His love and pity for the Churches. Nevertheless, I have not omitted to beseech men in authority in person. I have written to those at court, who love us, that the wrath of our ravening enemy may be stayed. I think, moreover, that from many quarters condemnation may fall upon his head, unless indeed these troublous times allow our public men no leisure for these matters.

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.