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Fathers of the Church

Letter CCLXXX: to Modestus the Prefect

Description

Basil asks that Modestus champion one of his relatives.

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

I FEEL my boldness in pressing my suit by letter upon a man in your position; still the honour that you have paid me in the past has banished all my scruples. Accordingly I write with confidence.

My plea is for a relative of mine, a man worthy of respect for his integrity. He is the bearer of this letter, and he stands to me in the place of a son. Your favour is all that he requires for the fulfilment of Iris wishes. Deign therefore to receive, at the hands of the aforesaid bearer, my letter in furtherance of his plea. I pray you to give him an opportunity of explaining his affairs at an interview with those in a position to help him. So by your direction shall he quickly obtain his desires; while I shall have occasion for boasting that by God's favour I have found a champion who regards the entreaties of my friends as personal claims to his protection.

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.