BASIL

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BASIL, St., called the Great, to distinguish him from other patriarchs of the same name, was born in 329, and made, in 370, bishop of Csesarea, in Cappadocia, where he died, in 379. He is the most distinguished ecclesiastic among the Grecian patriarchs. His efforts for the regulation of clerical discipline, of the divine service, and of the standing of the clergy; the number of his sermons ; the success of his mild treatment of the Arians; and, above all, his endeavors for the promotion of monastic life, for which he prepared vows and rules, observed by himself, and still remaining in force, prove the merits of this holy man. The Greek church honors him as one of its most illustrious patron saints, and celebrates his festival Jan. 1. His followers are widely extended; there are even some in America. They lead an ascetic life The vows of obedience, chastity and poverty, framed by St. Basil, are the rules of all the orders of Christendom, although he is particularly the father of the eastern, as St. Benedict is the patriarch of the western orders.