On this day also is the commemoration of the great miracle performed by St. Basilius, Bishop of Caesarea, Cappadocia.
A young man, who loved his master's daughter, Satan, his enemy and the enemy of the human race, deceived him. Satan made him resort to a magician who made him write a covenant to deny the faith and to surrender completely to Satan, so that Satan might grant him his wish. Satan kindled lust in the heart of the girl, and she loved the young man exceedingly. She asked her father insistingly not to object to her marriage to that young man. Eager for his honor and fearing for her life, he married her to him.
When she had spent with him a long period of time, she noticed that he did not enter the church or partake of the Holy Sacraments, or make the sign of the Holy Cross over himself. She revealed to him her doubt about his faith and his love of God. He told her what had happened to him, and how he had written to Satan a covenant of obedience till death.
She cried much and rebuked him for his deed. She took him to St. Basilius, Bishop of Caesarea. He listened to the confession of the young man and saw his grief and desire to go back to the life of worship, fellowship, and righteousness. St. Basilius comforted him and asked him to stay with him for a while in seclusion, fasting and praying. He shut him up in a nearby room for three days. On the third day St. Basilius visited him and the young man told him that the evil spirits had not ceased disturbing and fighting him in many ways. He strengthened him, calmed him down, gave him food and prayed for him. St. Basilius asked him to remain in seclusion, praying and fasting.
After a few days, he came back to visit him again. The
young man told St. Basilius that he did not see the devils any more, but he
still heard their cries and threats. St. Basilius fed him again and prayed for
him and left him to the life of seclusion to fight and pray, and the bishop went
to pray on his behalf also. And this went on until
The Bishop gathered all the priests and the monks and prayed for the young man all that night. On the following morning he led him into the church while everyone was crying, "Lord have mercy on us," and they continued to cry out until that writing, which the young man had written as a covenant to deny the faith and to surrender to Satan, fell down in the midst of all the people. The Bishop, the young man and his wife, and all the people rejoiced exceedingly. The Bishop blessed that man and administered to him the Holy Sacraments. The man and his wife departed to their house full of joy for the peace and repentance they received. They praised God and thanked St. Basilius by whose prayers they were saved.
The blessings of his prayers be with us all, and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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