March 22, 2019 Length: 1:56
St Basil labored for the Church during the reign of Julian the Apostate, who briefly attempted to return the Roman empire to paganism after the reign of St Constantine. The Saint had already suffered for the Faith as bishop of Anycra (now Ankara,the capital of Turkey), and when Julian came to power, fresh persecutions began. Basil openly denounced the Emperor's anti-Christian policies, for which he was tortured and thrown in prison.
When the Emperor came to Ancyra, Basil was brought before him, and Julian urged the bishop to renounce the Faith, promising him wealth and position if he would do so. Basil replied, 'I believe in my Christ, whom you have denied and who gave you this earthly kingdom, but He will shortly take this from you. How can you have no shame before the altar under which you were saved from death as an eight-year-old child when they sought to kill you? Therefore He will soon make this earthly kingdom from you, and your body shall not be buried when you have spewed forth your soul in bitter torments.' The enraged Emperor ordered that seven strips be torn from Basil's body every day, a torture which was carried out for seven days. When the Saint was once again brought before the Emperor, he tore off a strip of his own flesh and threw it to Julian, saying 'Take this and eat it, Julian, if such food is sweet to you, but Christ is life for me.' At this the Emperor ordered that red-hot iron spits be driven through Basil; and thus the holy bishop at last received the crown of martyrdom.