In Giving We Receive: The Feast of Saint Basil the Great

The bread you store up belongs to the hungry; the cloak that lies on your chest belongs to the naked; the gold that you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor.” — Saint Basil The Great

Saint Basil  (ca. 330 – January 1, 379) was a teacher, priest, and bishop who was named a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church. He had a generous heart and was tireless in pastoral care. Interesting fact: Basil’s grandmother, father, mother, two brothers, and a sister have all been canonized by the Church. How’s that for raising up saints?

Basil encouraged the poor to help those worse off. “Give your last loaf to the beggar at your door,” he urged, “and trust in God’s goodness.” Setting the ultimate example, Basil the Great gave away his inheritance and opened a soup kitchen where he was often seen wearing an apron and feeding the hungry.  In his honor, Greeks bake Saint Basil’s bread (vasilopita), a sweetbread that usually has a coin hidden inside. On Saint Basil’s day, slices of the bread are cut for family members, acting as a blessing on the house.

This week especially, with Saint Basil as our example, may we be inspired to profess the truth in love. Consider “breaking bread” and sharing conversation with one who is hungry for food and companionship. Were you blessed with gifts of new clothes for Christmas? For every new item received, donate one (or two) you haven’t worn in at least a year. As a family, select a charity to sponsor throughout and find creative ways to give periodically throughout the year.

Sources: AmericanCatholic.orgHoly Spirit

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