St. Basil Ratishvili of the Holy Mountain
Commemorated on April 18
Saint Basil Ratishvili, one of the most prominent figures of the 13th-century Church, was the uncle of Catholicos Ekvtime III. He labored with the other Georgian fathers at the Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos. Endowed with the gift of prophecy, St. Basil beheld a vision in which the Most Holy Theotokos called upon him to censure King Demetre’s impious rule. (This is actually St. Demetre the Devoted, who in his youth lived profligately but later laid down his life for his nation.)
Having arrived in Georgia and been brought before the king, the God-fearing father denounced the sovereign’s uncrowned marriage [i.e., a conjugal union without the blessing of the Church]. He promised the king that if he abandoned his present way of life, he would find great happiness and success. St. Basil also condemned the ungodly ways of Georgia’s apostate feudal lords.
But the king and his court disregarded the virtuous elder’s admonitions, and in response St. Basil prophesied: “A vicious enemy will kill you, and your kingdom will remain without refuge. Your children will be scattered, your kingdom conquered, and all your wealth seized. Know that, according to the will of the Most Holy Theotokos, everything I have told you will come to pass unless you repent and turn from this way of life. Now I will depart from you in peace.”
St. Basil returned to Mt. Athos and peacefully reposed at the Iveron Monastery.
His vision was fulfilled.
© 2006 St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood.