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Fathers of the Church

Letter CCLXXXI: to Modestus the Prefect

Description

A letter of recommendation for Basil's friend Helladius, who wishes to quit his job as a tax collector to serve his country in some capacity.

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 AM mindful of the great honour I received in the encouragement you gave me, along with others, to address your excellency. I avail myself of the privilege and the enjoyment of your gracious favour.

I congratulate myself upon having such a correspondent, as also upon the opportunity afforded your excellency of conferring an honour on me by your reply.

I claim your clemency on behalf of Helladius my special friend. I pray that he may be relieved from the anxieties of TAX assessor, and so be enabled to work in the interests of our country.

You have already so far given a gracious consent, that I now repeat my request, and pray you to send instructions to the governor of the Province, that Helladius may be released from this infliction.

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.