St. Basil’s Feast Day

St. Basil the Great’s Monastery, carved in soft, volcanic, Cappadocian, rock. Goreme – 2004

Happy St. Basil’s Day!

Born in 329 AD, his Heavenly Birthday is January 14/1 in the year 379 AD.

…the time for prayer is one’s whole life. ~ St. Basil the Great

St. Basil the Great’s 4th century monastic vision inspired the building of numerous church communities throughout the ancient region over the next five and a half centuries. The rock churches provided the bonus of cool respite amid the surrounding hot, dry, landscape.

Below is a festive Vasilopita – a St. Basil’s Day Cake, which commemorates a certain miracle of St. Basil the Great. My husband baked the celebratory cake using this traditional recipe.

The caramelized sugar and chopped almonds topping the festive cake are reminiscent of the sandy, rocky, Cappadocian countryside landscape.

Cutting the Cake: At home, after the Divine Liturgy, the cake is loosely covered with a napkin, and the sign of the cross is made. The undercover cutting commences, so nobody can see where the secret coin might be. The slices are distributed in this order: First piece cut is in honour of Christ, the second is cut in honour of the Virgin Mary, and the third is cut for St. Basil. These three pieces are saved and given the same day to the elderly, or the poor. The next pieces are cut for the most senior member of the household down to the youngest member. Whoever finds the coin in their piece of cake puts it toward something special!

Preserve gratitude like a precious deposit within your soul, and from it you will receive a double portion of delight. Remember the apostolic word, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” ~ St. Basil the Great

Lovely St. Basil’s Day & New Year Greek Carol – Duet

Old sheet music of St. Basil’s Day & New Year Carol with the verses being sung above (but arranged in a different order on pdf).

With love in Christ.

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