1 John 2:22-28; Psalm 97(98):1-4; John 1:19-28
Basil was born in 330 at Caesarea in Cappadocia, of a Christian family. A brilliant scholar and a virtuous man, he started by becoming a hermit but was made bishop of Caesarea in 370. He fought against the Arians and wrote many notable works, in particular the monastic rule that bears his name and which many monks in the East follow to this day. He was also generous to the poor. He died on 1 January 379.
Gregory was born in 330, near Nazianzus. He travelled widely in search of knowledge. He followed his friend Basil into the wilderness, but he too was ordained and later made a bishop. He was elected Bishop of Constantinople in 381 but because of the factional fighting within the Church he retired to Nazianzus, where he died on 25 January 389 or 390. He is known as “Gregory the Theologian” in honour of his learning and eloquence.
Today we also remember Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, may he rest in peace. He too like Gregory Nazianzen was a noted theologian - indeed his works have inspired many to study. And he also gave much to the poor - as much though his work for peace in the world, as in any direct way.
May there souls and the souls of all the departed through the mercy of God rest in peace