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Fathers of the Church

Letter CCXLVIII: to Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium

Description

Basil asks Amphilochius for prayers.

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

So far as my own wishes are concerned I am grieved at living at such a distance from your reverence. But, as regards the peace of your own life, I thank the Lord Who has kept you out of this conflagration which has specially ravaged my diocese. For the just Judge has sent me, in accordance with my works, a messenger of Satan, who is buffeting me a severely enough, and is vigorously defending the heresy. Indeed to such a pitch has he carried the war against us, that he does not shrink even from shedding the blood of those who trust in God. You cannot fail to have heard that a man of the name of Asclepius, because he would not consent to communion with Doeg, has died under the blows inflicted on him by them, or rather, by their blows has been translated into life. You may suppose that the rest of their doings are of a piece with this; the persecutions of presbyters and teachers, and all that might be expected to be done by men abusing the imperial authority at their own caprice. But, in answer to your prayers, the Lord will give us release from these things, and patience to bear the weight of our trials worthily of our hope in Him. Pray write frequently to me of all that concerns yourself. If you find any one who can be trusted to carry you the book that I have finished, be so kind as to send for it, that so, when I have been cheered by your approval, I may send it on to others also. By the grace of the Holy One may you be granted to me and to the Church of the Lord in good health rejoicing in the Lord, and praying for me.

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.