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Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen

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Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen

Memorial

PATRON OF BASIL: Russia, Hospital administrators, Reformers, Monks, Education, Exorcism, Liturgists; GREGORY:

January 2 Saint of the Day

January 2 Saint of the Day

Podcast © Franciscan Media
Saint Basil is the Father of Eastern monasticism—as Saint Benedict is for western monasticism. Besides being a good pastor, Saint Basil also lead the fight against Arianism, a heresy that denied the divinity of Christ.

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Click below to access the USCCB’s Catholic Current handout (PDF) which can be used to educate children and adults alike. USCCB gives permission to use Saint profiles in classroom materials, bulletins, on websites, or social media.

Liturgy of the Hours - 2nd Reading

Two bodies, but a single spirit

From a sermon by Saint Gregory Nazianzen, bishop
Basil and I were both in Athens. We had come, like streams of a river, from the same source in our native land, had separated from each other in pursuit of learning, and were now united again as if by plan, for God so arranged it.
What was the outcome? Almost alone of those who had come to Athens to study he was exempted from the customary ceremonies of initiation for he was held in higher honor that his status as a first-year student seemed to warrant.
Such was the prelude to our friendship, the kindling of that flame that was to bind us together. In this way we began to feel affection for each other. When, in the course of time, we acknowledged our friendship and recognized that our ambition was a life of true wisdom, we became everything to each other: we shared the same lodging, the same table, the same desires, the same goal. Our love for each other grew daily warmer and deeper.
The same hope inspired us: the pursuit of learning. This is an ambition especially subject to envy. Yet between us there was no envy. On the contrary, we made capital out of our rivalry. Our rivalry consisted, not in seeking the first place for oneself but in yielding it to the other, for we each looked on the other’s success as his own.
We seemed to be two bodies with a single spirit. Though we cannot believe those who claim that “everything is contained in everything,” yet you must believe that in our case each of us was in the other and with the other.
Our single object and ambition was virtue, and a life of hope in the blessings that are to come; we wanted to withdraw from this world before we departed from it. With this end in view we ordered our lives and all our actions. We followed the guidance of God’s law and spurred each other on to virtue. If it is not too boastful to say, we found in each other a standard and rule for discerning right from wrong.
Different men have different names, which they owe to their parents or to themselves, that is, to their own pursuits and achievements. But our great pursuit, the great name we wanted, was to be Christians, to be called Christians.

Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen

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Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen

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St. Basil and the Holy Spirit

Following the Council of Nicaea, there was a great deal of doctrinal confusion. One group of churchmen in the east said that while they accepted Nicaea’s definition of the divinity of Christ, they would not go beyond it to affirm the same of the Holy Spirit. After all, they pointed out, Jesus is called “God” (the New Testament Greek word is Theos) several times in the New Testament.

But the Scriptures never explicitly use the term “God” referring to the Holy Spirit. These “sola scriptura” bishops, called “pneumatomachoi” (fighters against the Spirit), therefore resisted the doctrine of the Trinity, one God in three distinct but equal persons.

St. Basil the Great responded to these heretics in the form of a short treatise that relies not on difficult philosophical concepts but on a common-sense examination of Scripture and the liturgy.

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SOURCE: OSV Kids!

Saint Stories for all Ages

Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen

Both Basil and Gregory were misunderstood, but in spite of this, they rebuilt the faith. Basil died at age 49. Gregory resigned from Constantinople because of opposition and spent his last years reading, writing his autobiography, and enjoying his gardens.
Suggestions
  • Show the students that the Church still defends the faith. The pope writes encyclicals. The bishops publish pastoral statements. Bring in some of these publications and display them.
  • Have the students write a personal act of faith on good paper and decorate the page.
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SOURCE: LoyolaPress.com

Britannica Kids

Britannica Kids

Through the many centuries of church history, the mother of Jesus achieved a status second only to Jesus himself in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and other churches. She has been the focus of much debate and the subject of some of the greatest art in the Western world. Many of the finest medieval cathedrals are dedicated to her—including the Gothic masterpiece in Chartres, France.
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Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen

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