Peter of Sebaste

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Our Father among the saints Peter of Sebaste was the youngest member of a large family of distinguish Christians that included Ss Macrina the Elder, Basil the Elder, Emily, Gregory the Elder, Macrina the Younger, Basil the Great, Naucratius and Gregory of Nyssa. He served as bishop of Sebaste in Armenia and participated in the Second Ecumenical Council. He is commemorated on January 9.


Peter was born about the year 340, the youngest child of Basil the Elder and wife Emmelia (Emily). As he grew up, his eldest sister, Macrina the Younger, greatly influenced his religious training, directing him toward a spiritual and ascetic life. He devoted himself to meditation on the Holy Scripture and preparation for a religious life. After his brother, Basil the Great, was elevated to the see of Caesarea, he ordained Peter to the priesthood, but Peter continued the life of a solitary ascetic. Peter remained close to his mother and sister, and helped them in founding a monastery after his father died.

About 380, Peter was elevated to the see of Sebaste in Armenia. Little is known of his activities as bishop other than he was united with his brothers in their Orthodoxy. Peter joined with his brothers, Basil and Gregory, in a common stand against the heresies of Arianism and Macedonianism and participated in the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 381.

While Peter was not a writer, he inspired his brother Gregory to write such works as “Against Eunomius”, “Treatise on the Work of the Six Days”, and “On the Endowment of Man”. Peter reposed in 391 and began to be honored as a saint soon afterward.