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Fathers of the Church

Letter CCLXXIX: to Modestus the Prefect

Description

A letter of recommendation for one of Basil's friends.

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. Always ready to help, Basil addressed a great number of letters to high authorities and wealthy persons in order to recommend the poor and oppressed, to intercede for cities and towns, for relatives and friends. (Quasten)

by Basil the Great in 357-370 | translated by Blomfield Jackson, M.A

ALTHOUGH so numerous are my letters, conveyed to your excellency by as many bearers, yet, having regard to the especial honour you have shewn me, I cannot think that their large number causes you any annoyance.

I do not hesitate therefore to entrust to this brother the accompanying letter: I know that he will meet with all that he wishes, and that you will count me but as a benefactor in furnishing occasion for the gratification of your kind inclinations. He craves your advocacy. His cause be will explain in person, if you but deign to regard him with a favourable eye, and embolden him to speak freely in the presence of so august an authority. Accept my assurance that any kindness shewn to him, I shall regard as personal to myself. His special reason for leaving Tyana and coming to me was the high value he attached to the presentation of a letter written by myself in support of his application. That he may not be disappointed of his hope; that I may continue in the enjoyment of your consideration; that your interest in all that is good may, in this present matter, find scope for its full exercised are the grounds on which I crave a gracious reception for him, and a place amongst those nearest to 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.