Saint of the Day – 26 March – Saint Basil the Younger (Died c 952) Hermit, Mystic, Miracle-worker. Died c 952 near Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey) of natural causes.
As a young man, Basil began living as a hermit near Constantinople. Courtiers of the Byzantine Emperor, alarmed at his appearance and fearful of his influence, had him arrested, questioned and tortured as a spy.
Basil would say only that he was a pilgrim and stranger on earth but he denounced their immoral lifestyles.
According to his hagiography, he survived their cruel tortures and being thrown to a lion and was unharmed, he was saved from an official drowning by two dolphins.
These miracles won him freedom. Thereafter, many of the faithful came to his hermitage for cures of body and soul prophecies, instruction and performance of numerous miracles. He was gifted with the charism of prophecy, able to see the future lives of those he counselled.
A Vita, written by one of Basil’s disciples, a pious layman named Gregory, includes many details on daily life in Constantinople and provides lengthy descriptions of Basil’s visions and prophecies.
Basil reportedly lived to the age of 110.
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