Basil (3)

Basil the friend of Chrysostom, with whom he lived on terms of the closest and most affectionate intimacy. The friends were equal in age, in rank, in property; read the same books, and studied under the same masters — Diodorus, afterwards bishop of Tarsus, and Carterius. They simultaneously resolved on adopting an ascetic life. Basil was the first to put the purpose into execution, living in solitude and devotion in his paternal home. On Chrysostom following his example, the two friends prepared to take a house and live together; but were prevented by the entreaties of Anthusa, Chrysostom's mother. The circumstances attending, Basil's elevation to the episcopate, and the pious fraud by which his scruples were overcome, are narrated in the article CHRYSOSTOM. We do not know the name of his see; but, as Chrysostom promised to give him his presence and counsel frequently, it could hardly have been far from Antioch. Baronius thinks it was Raphanea (Chrysostom, De Sacerdot. i, 1-3; 6:13).

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