Our father among the saints Basil the Great
(ca. 330 - January 1
, 379), was bishop
of Caesarea, a leading churchman in the 4th century. The Church considers him a saint
and one of the Three Holy Hierarchs
, together with Saints Gregory the Theologian
(Gregory Nazianzus) and John Chrysostom
. Basil, Gregory the Theologian, and Basil's brother Saint Gregory of Nyssa
are called the Cappadocian Fathers
. The Roman Catholic Church
also considers him a saint and calls him a Doctor of the Church.
Basil's memory is celebrated on January 1; he is also remembered on January 30 with the Three Holy Hierarchs. In Greek tradition, he is supposed to visit children and give presents every January 1. This festival is also marked by the baking of Saint Basil's bread (Gr. Vasilópita), a sweetbread with a coin hidden inside.
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