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E02812: Basil of Caesarea in his Letter 93, of c. 372, reports that he receives (or celebrates) the Eucharist on the memorial days of saints. Written in Greek in Kaisareia/Caesarea of Cappadocia (central Asia Minor).

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posted on 2017-05-16, 00:00 authored by CSLA Admin
Basil of Caesarea, Letters (CPG 2900), Letter 93.


(1.) Καὶ τὸ κοινωνεῖν δὴ καθ’ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν καὶ μεταλαμβάνειν τοῦ ἁγίου σώματος καὶ αἵματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ καλὸν καὶ ἐπωφελές, αὐτοῦ σαφῶς λέγοντος· «Ὁ τρώγων μου τὴν σάρκα καὶ πίνων μου τὸ αἷμα ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον.» Τίς γὰρ ἀμφιβάλλει ὅτι τὸ μετέχειν συνεχῶς τῆς ζωῆς οὐδὲν ἄλλο ἐστὶν ἢ ζῆν πολλαχῶς; Ἡμεῖς μέντοιγε τέταρτον καθ’ ἑκάστην ἑβδομάδα κοινωνοῦμεν, ἐν τῇ Κυριακῇ, ἐν τῇ τετράδι καὶ ἐν τῇ Παρασκευῇ καὶ τῷ Σαββάτῳ, καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἄλλαις ἡμέραις, ἐὰν ᾖ μνήμη Ἁγίου τινός.

‘To the Patrician Kaisaria, on Communion

1. Indeed, to commune even every day and partake of the holy body and blood of Christ is good and beneficial, since He himself clearly says: “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” For who can doubt that constant sharing in the Life is nothing else than multiple living? As for ourselves, we commune four times every week – on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and on the other days, if it is the memory of a saint. [……]’


Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Basil of Caesarea

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Eucharist associated with cult

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - bishops Aristocrats


Born around 330 to an aristocratic Christian family of Neokaisareia/Neocaesarea of Pontus Polemoniacus (Anatolia), Basil was educated in Kaisareia/Caesarea, Antioch, and Athens. After his studies, he spent time in the monasteries in Egypt, before returning to Pontus, where he organised an ascetic community on his family estate in Pontus. In the 360s, Basil was ordained in Kaisareia/Caesarea, and, on 14 June 370, he was consecrated bishop there. He died on 1 January 379. Basil was a prolific writer, composing homilies, theological, ascetical, and liturgical works. His 369 letters form a major corpus on ecclesiastical politics and the broader history of Anatolia and the Christian East. On the manuscript tradition, editions and translations of this letter, see: Fedwick, P.J., Bibliotheca Basiliana Universalis. 5 vols. Vol. I (Corpus Christianorum; Turnhout: Brepols, 1993)


Text edition and French Translation: Courtonne, Y., Saint Basile. Lettres. vol. 1 (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1957). Text and English Translations: Deferrari, R.J., Saint Basil, the Letters. 4 vols. Vol. 2 (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 1928). Way, A.C., Saint Basil. Letters, Volume 1 (1‒185) (Fathers of the Church 13; Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1951). Further Reading: Courtonne, Y., Un témoin du IVe siècle oriental: saint Basile et son temps d'après sa correspondance (Collection d'études anciennes; Paris: Les Belles lettres, 1973), esp. 356-359. Radde-Gallwitz, A., "The Letter Collection of Basil of Caesarea," in: C. Sogno, B.K. Storin, and E. Watts (eds.), Late Antique Letter Collections: A Critical Introduction and Reference Guide (Oakland: University of California Press, 2017), 69-80. Rousseau, P., Basil of Caesarea (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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