Basil the Great

Basil the Great, born in AD 329, was one of the most important bishops in the Orthodox Church. With an extremely broad education, he was one of the first «ecologists,» with a great love of nature. He helped the poor and the enslaved and fought to get taxes lowered. The Basileias was the center of his philanthropic activity, described by Saint Gregory the Theologian as a «new town.» It included a magnificent church, a fully equipped hospital with a large staff of doctors, nurses and auxiliary personnel, a leper colony, poorhouse, orphanage and home for the aged. There were buildings to house visiting clerics and staff and for nobility, state officials and laymen. Basil the Great spent most of his time helping those in need, particularly at the hospital and leper colony where he could put his medical knowledge to good use. Today many philanthropic institutions bear the name of that first center.

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