Basilian FAQ | Part 1
How did the Order of Saint Basil the Great come into being?
Where do we look for the origins of the Basilian Order?
Saint Basil the Great founded a religious community in Cappadocia (Turkey) and wrote Rules as the basis for his teachings about the monastic life.
What was the basic goal of this life?
To follow Jesus Christ perfectly, as the Lord instructed: “If You seek perfection, then sell all you have, and come follow me.” Saint Basil said that a true monk seeks to become a “perfect Christian."
What is the basic form of St. Basil’s Rule?
Saint Basil says that the authentic rule for a Christian is the Gospel of Christ, which is a Gospel of love: the love of God and of neighbour. This love may be lived-out in a religious community.
How did St. Basil’s religious family differ from other monks of his time ?
Saint Basil the Great emphasized the communal aspect of the monastic life. He taught that Christians must perfect themselves in fraternal charity before they are worthy of the calling to a more solitary vocation, like that of the hermit. St. Basil’s communities were also not to be too large, as it is easy to avoid fraternal charity in a crowd.
Where does the name Basilian come from?
Saint Basil’s Rule and style of monasticism spread throughout the Christian world. Even Saint Benedict, inspired perhaps by Basil, mentions it in his rule. During the early middle ages, southern Italy was part of the Byzantine Empire, and it was there that the Byzantine-Greek monks were first referred to as “Basilians” to distinguish them from the Latin Monks.