Saint Basil (329-79 AD) Founder of Eastern Orthodox monasticism in Europe
One of ten children of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia, he was born in Caesarea, Cappadocia, Asia Minor, and was educated by his father and his grandmother, St. Marcina the Elder. He took advanced studies at Constantinople and Athens, where St. Gregory Nazianzen and the future Emperor Julian the Apostate were classmates. On the completion of his studies, Basil taught rhetoric at Caesarea and then decided to pursue the religious/monastic life.
He was baptized, visited monasteries in Palestine, Syria, and Egypt, and in 358 settled as a hermit by the Iris River in Pontus. He attracted numerous disciples, whom he organized into the first (Christian) monastery in Asia Minor. (And wrote a monastic rule for them which was a model latter for St, Benedict) He was ordained in 363 at Caesarea but returned to Pontus because of a disagreement with Archbishop Eusebius. But remained there until 365, when his friend Gregory requested his assistance in combating Arianism in Nazianzus.
He returned to Caesarea , was reconciled to Eusebius, and in 370, on Eusebius’ death, was elected archbishop of Caesarea and consequently metropolitan of some fifty suffragen bishops, despite the opposition of Arian Emperor Valens.