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Fathers of the Church

Letter Cclil: to the Bishops of the Pontic Diocese

Description

Basil requests that the bishops honor their martyrs by paying a visit to their graves.

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

THE honours of martyrs ought to be very eagerly coveted by all who rest their hopes on the Lord, and more especially by you who seek after virtue. By your disposition towards the great and good among your fellow servants you are shewing your affection to our common Lord. Moreover, a special reason for this is to be found in the tie, as it were, of blood, which binds the life of exact discipline to those who have been made perfect through endurance. Since then Eupsychius and Damas and their company are most illustrious among martyrs, and their memory is yearly kept in our city and all the neighbourhood, the Church, calling on you by my voice, reminds yon to keep up your ancient custom of paying a visit. A great and good world lies before you among the people, who desire to be edified by you, and are anxious for the reward dependent on the honour paid to the martyrs. Receive, therefore, my supplications, and consent of your kindness to give at the cost of small trouble to yourselves a great boon to 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.