March 26, 2018 - Baramhat 17, 1734
Departure of St.Basilius, Bishop of Jerusalem
On this day also of the year 1615 A.M. (March 26th., 1899 A.D.) the great father Anba Basilius, Metropolitan of Jerusalem, departed. This father was born in the village of El-Dabah, Farshout county, the province of Quena, for righteous parents. They nursed him with the milk of righteousness since his young age, as they taught him reading and writing, so he grew on loving perfection and moral excellence.
When he was twenty-five years old he went to the monastery of St. Antonios and put on the monastic garb in the year 1559 A.M. He persevered in worshipping and ascetism and because he was adorned with righteousness and piety they ordained him priest in the year 1565 A.M. and archpriest (Hegumen) in the year 1568 A.M., then they appointed him an Abott for the monastery. He managed the monastery well with gentleness, wisdom and meekness that made the blessed Anba Kyrellos IV to ordain him Metropolitan for Jerusalem and the parishes that were attached to him: El-Kaliobia, El-Sharkia, El-Dakahlia, El-Gharbia, Suez, Domiat, and Port-Said.
He had shown prudence in managing the affairs of these parishes that made him the center of admiration and pride to the Copts. All his efforts were dedicated for the building of churches all over his parish, buying and renovating properties in Jaffa and Jerusalem. He was loved by all the people of Syria and Palestine, regardless of their religion or political persuasion, especially the rulers of Jerusalem, for his wise policy and straight morals.
During his days a dispute aroused from the Ethiopians where they claimed their ownership for the monastery of El-Sultan in Jerusalem. Because of this father and his vigilance they could not establish an ownership for the monastery. He attended the enthronement of Pope Demetrius II, the hundred eleventh, and Pope Kyrellos V, the hundred twelfth. He spent his days in continuous effort for what was good for his people and departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.