Basil the Great
Departure of the Prophet David
Departure of St. Timothy the Anchorite

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Basil the Great

Basil flourished during the reign of Emperor Valens in 364. He spoke out for the orthodox faith in front of Valens and judged him because he had accepted the erroneous beliefs of Arianism and was maltreating and fighting savagely and ferociously the churches of the orthodox. Basil's father was from the Black Sea and his mother from Cappadocia (from a place called Karamania). In speech and learning he surpassed not only the learned men of his time but also the ancient philosophers since, having studied all kinds of knowledge, he defeated and conquered them all.

When he became bishop he fought many battles for the orthodox faith and with the firmness and courage of his conviction he amazed prefect Modestus. He refuted the convictions of the heretics and arranged an order of morals.

Basil was tall in appearance, spare and fleshless. His face was dark-skinned in color, although it was blended with paleness as well. He had a long nose, round eyebrows and the skin over his eyebrows was furrowed. he looked like a man in meditation and watching over himself. His face was wrinkled with a few furrows. He had long cheeks and his temples were hirsute with hairs which were turned round. He seemed to have his hair somewhat cut. He had quite a long beard with mixed hairs, i.e. black together with white ones.

Departure of the Prophet David

On this day of the year 2990, the great king and honored Prophet, David the son of Jesse, departed. He was born 1120 years before Christ. He was the second king over the children of Israel and the first among their kings to walk in virtue and in justice.

He was from the tribe of Judah from Bethlehem. God chose him to be king over Israel when Saul, the son of Kish, disobeyed God.

God commanded the Prophet Samuel to anoint one of the children of Jesse as king over Israel. Samuel chose the eldest son who was good looking and tall in stature, but God rejected him and said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

Jesse called all his sons and introduced them to Samuel and Samuel chose David and anointed him king. God was with David in all his ways because of David's meekness and the purity of his heart. David overcame King Saul who wanted to kill him on several occasions.

Once King Saul went out after David to kill him and at night he went into a cave and slept. David entered the cave secretly and cut off the corner of Saul's robe to show Saul that he was able to kill him but he would not. Another time, David found Saul sleeping and took his spear and his jug of water and again spared his life (1 Samuel 26:1-25). When David's men implored him to kill Saul, David said to them, "The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord's anointed" (1 Samuel 26:11).

When a man gave David the news about the death of his rival Saul saying, "I stood over him and killed him," David took hold of his own clothes and tore them and he mourned Saul. David then called one of his men and commanded him to kill the man who killed Saul (2 Samuel 1:1-15).

God honored this prophet in front of all mankind, for he had many virtues, particularly the virtue of humility. He was a prophet, a righteous man and a just king. In spite of that, David called himself "A dead dog and a flea" (1 Samuel 24:14). God praised him by testifying, "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will" (Acts 13:22; 1 Samuel 13:14).

God protected Jerusalem for David's sake during his lifetime and after his death. God also made kings over the people of Israel from his descendants and Jesus called Himself David's son. David prophesied in the Book of Psalms, a book of praises, valuable for teaching and instruction.

David's might and power were sustained by God. When he was young and while guarding his father's sheep, one time a bear and another time a lion, attacked his sheep and David killed both the bear and the lion.

Once the army of Israel faced the army of the Philistines and with them was Goliath whose height was six cubits and a span, and who was armored with bronze armors and his spear was like a weaver's beam and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels. Goliath went out, stood up and cried out to the armies of Israel, "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give us a man that we might fight together." Goliath presented himself for forty days morning and evening and no one from Israel dared to fight him.

When David came to visit his brothers and brought provisions to their camp, he saw and heard Goliath. David said to him, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you" (1 Samuel 17:45, 46). David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it and removed the reproach of Israel (1 Samuel Chapter 17).

David lived seventy years, forty years of which he ruled as king.

Departure of St. Timothy the Anchorite

Also on this day, we commemorate the departure of St. Timothy the anchorite. He was born of God-loving parents, who raised and educated him according to church discipline.

He desired the monastic life and became a monk in one of the monasteries. He loved the solitary life and lived in a cell alone near the monastery. He lived there for some time, making a living

from his handwork. The enemy of mankind appeared to him in the form of a nun who approached him to buy his handwork. A special relation developed between them because of her frequent visits. They used to sit and eat at one table. After a short while, the saint realized the trick of the devil to make him fall into sin. He remembered the hour of death and the appalling day of Judgement; consequently, he arose and took flight from that place.

The Lord guided him to another place with a spring of water and a palm tree. He stayed there practicing worship and asceticism. He reached a great level in his ascetic life, to the extent that wild beasts were tame with him. This continued for thirty years, during which his hair became very long and spared him wearing clothes.

When he finished his course and fought the good fight, he departed in peace.