Fr. Z has a marvelous commentary on the older calendar and the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.
These two great Saints are gifts from the Eastern lung of the Church and are very worthy of our finding time to read.
Danielle Bean blogged on St. Basil and Gingerbread:
the helper of the helpless,
the hope of those who are past hope,
the savior of the tempest-tossed,
the harbor of the voyagers,
the physician of the sick.
You know each soul and our prayer,
each home and its need.
Become to each one of us
what we most dearly desire,
receiving us all into your kingdom,
making us children of the light.
Pour on us your peace and love,
O Lord our God. Amen.
– Orthodox Liturgy of St. Basil
Worthy examples and a blessing of God to the Church. St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nazianzen were friends and spent time in a monastic setting together with other like minded young men steeping themselves in study, scripture and prayer.
Oftentimes we find Saints coming in clusters and we see they knew each other and influenced each other (Saints Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas come to mind as do Saints Peter and Paul!). This is human nature, to be influenced by our companions in the journey of life. Choose wisely! The good students influence each other to be better students. Good athletes challenge each other to be better athletes. And SAINTS in training challenge and encourage and support each other to seek ever greater sanctity in their place in life! So, wife, husband, cook, janitor, teacher, artist, ANYONE can and should try to be a friend who, like the Saints Basil and Gregory, is an influence toward holiness for the people in your circle of influence.
My prayer for today is that we all enrich our friendships in such a way as to enable each other to reach for sainthood.