Blessed Basil of Moscow, fool-for-Christ

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2/15 August

Basil the Blessed was born in 1469 in Yelokhov, a village near Moscow. His parents, who were serfs, gave him over to be instructed in the craft of a cobbler. According to his Life, the industrious and God-fearing youth Basil was endowed with the gift of clairvoyance, a gift that was discovered by accident. A man came to Basil's master to order boots and asked that they be made to last for several years. At this Basil smiled; when asked by his employer what was meant by this smile, Basil replied that the man who had ordered boots to last several years, would die tomorrow. This is what in fact happened.

At 16 years of age, Basil left his employer and his craft and began his struggle as a fool-for-Christ's-sake; without home or clothing, subjecting himself to great privations, and weighing down his flesh with chains. Those chains lie on his tomb to this day.

Once, in the bazaar, the Blessed Basil scattered all of the bread-rolls of a certain baker; the man admitted to having mixed chalk and lime into the flour. Once, robbers, noticing the Saint clothed in a quality fur coat given to him by a certain boyar, decided to get the coat from him by deceit. One of them played dead and the others asked Basil for a donation for the dead man's funeral. Basil covered the dead man with his fur, but seeing their deceit, said: "Be truly dead from this moment, for the evil that you have done, for it is written - the evil doers shall be consumed." And truly, the deceiver died.

Address of our Cathedral

  • 4001 17th St. N.W.,
  • Washington, D.C., 20011

Phone  (202) 726-3000




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