ABSTRACT. In my paper, I wish to emphasize, starting from the writings of St. Basil the Great, the fact that he founded hospitals for the sick and victims of contagious diseases, care homes for the poor and shelters for travellers. For these reasons St. Gregory of Nazianzus speaks about an entire new city, the Basiliad. Nevertheless, it would be far from the truth to consider St. Basil only an administrator and an ecclesiastical organizer. All these tiring tasks did not prevent him from becoming a great theologian. He could be called, with some limitations, a Roman among the Hellenes. St. Basil the Great advised Christians to be cautious and consider with good judgment the receivers of mercy. Mentioning those who make of the weaknesses of their bodies a reason for trading, he adds that giving help to these persons might become a source of wickedness and, in these situations, he recommends Christians to offer them just a small amount of money to avoid the boisterous public display of their need for help. God receives the one who gives his gift with all his heart although he might be offering it to traders and traffickers of Christ of whose real nature he is not aware. Love for the brothers should not prevent us from going ourselves to those places where poverty resides to feel its wounds and lay upon them the healing dressing that is needed. As it can be observed in our study, St. Basil’s texts are not outdated or obsolete, but they remain relevant for the contemporary world as well. These writings are helpful for Christians living today as they testify to the way in which social problems were approached at that time by the great Archbishop and they represent for us a source of inspiration when looking for the most appropriate methods and solutions to manage practical issues in society. We have tried to acquire teachings and benefit from his works which include suggestions and recommendations to address the difficulties of the present. Through his writings, St. Basil sets in motion the spiritual life of the faithful in all times and he motivates them to acts that are instrumental to salvation.

Keywords: mercifulness; writings; St. Basil the Great; beneficiaries; Christian mercy

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PhD; Reverend Associate Professor,
Dumitru Stăniloae Faculty of Orthodox Theology,
Department of Research,
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University; Iași, Romania

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