Basil the Great (329 - January 1, 379)

Basil was born in Caesarea of Cappadocia and went to school with Gregory of Nazianzus and the future emperor Julian the Apostate. He toured the monasteries in Egypt and then founded a monastic settlement near his home with emphasis on the communal life. He wrote "Longer Rules" and "Shorter Rules" for monastic life. Basil sold his family's holdings to buy food for the poor. Basil became Bishop of Caesarea in 370, at a time when an Arian emperor, Valens, was ruling.