St Basil the Great (330-379)

Feast day: 2nd January

Patron Saint of Hospital Administrators

Modern civilisation owes an enormous amount to Christianity, but in our current society it often seems that the gifts that our Christian heritage have given us are overlooked or forgotten. One wonderful example of this is the Basiliad. Founded by Saint Basil the Great just outside Caesarea, this was an institution like nothing that had come before it.

It was a large complex built for the specific purpose of caring for the sick. It utilised trained doctors and nurses, which at the time was controversial even among some Christians, and included a care home for the elderly and infirm and a separate hospice for lepers. It provided the inspiration for many similar institutions across the eastern Roman empire. At the time it was considered one of the wonders of the world. Today, of course most people would call this institution not a Basiliad but a Hospital.

Through the intercession of St Basil the Great may our hospitals be guided by a spirit of true Christian charity.

St Basil the Great, pray for us!

(And finally, on a festive note….did you know that in the Greek Orthodox church it is St Basil rather than St Nicholas who brings children their gifts?)