Yandex Metrika
He denounced the apostate emperor and received the martyr’s crown

Hieromartyr Basil of Ancyra: righteous father, defender of the faith

Hieromartyr Basil of Ancyra

Orthodox Christians remember him for his deep and genuine knowledge of God’s truth, his fearless defence of the true teaching before the heretics and apostates of his time, and the crown of glory that he received enduring cruel torments for his loyalty to Christ.

He was the bishop of Ancyra, now Ankara, Turkey. As a vehement opponent of the Arian heresy, he was defrocked by an Arian-dominated council. Yet he continued to call on his flock not to believe the heretics and stick to the true faith. A council of bishops in Jerusalem reinstated him as a priest, and he continued to oppose the heresy. For that, he suffered vicious persecution and was branded an enemy of the state. The authorities sent him two apostates who demanded that he denounce the right faith and align with the heretics. He was steadfast in his refusal and was tortured.

When the emperor Julian the Apostate came to power, he sought to bring the empire back to Paganism. Saint Basil was not silent in his opposition. On his visit to Ancyra, the emperor had Basil brought before him and used flattery and promises of a rich and prosperous life to bring him to renounce Christ and become his ally. That did not shake the bishop’s position in the slightest. Saint Basil denounced Julian the Apostate for his apostasy and predicted his imminent military defeat and brutal death. He said, "'I believe in my Christ, whom you have denied and who gave you this earthly kingdom, but He will shortly take this from you, and your body shall not be buried when you have spewed forth your soul in bitter torments.”

Enraged, the emperor ordered his aides to tear seven strips of skin from his body every day for seven days. On one of the days, Saint Basil tore off his flesh and threw it to the emperor with the words, "take it and eat it, Julian, if such food is sweet for you." When the emperor ordered the torturers to draw red-hot irons through his body, he prayed to God and surrendered his soul to Him, receiving the crown of eternal glory.

April 04, 2024
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