St. Basil the Great

Our son Basil (short “a”) was born on August 28, 2017 and his name immediately generated conversations. He is named after St. Basil the Great. This was inspired by a lecture on St. Basil by Dr. George Grant of Parish Presbyterian Church.

George Grant
 has left an indelible mark on my thinking and on my family. Dr. Grant’s exuberant way of teaching church history also inspired the name Athanasius for our first son – that coupled with a plea from an Orthodox priest friend for “real” Christian names.

To paraphrase a piece of that lecture:

Julian the Apostate is set to enter Rome to take his place as the Roman Emperor. Waiting at the gates is a contingent of opposing Generals to block his entrance. Julian’s commanders come to him with the report and ask if he is afraid. Young Julian responds with, “Fear men? Why no, not one man!”

A commander said, “Truly sir, you fear no man?”

“None. I fear no man, let us march and claim what is rightly my inheritance,” replied Julian.

“Sir, there is not one soul that you fear?”

Finally, Julian says, “Well, there are but three: Athanasius, Ambrose, and that damnable genius Basil.”

The entire lecture is available online at

Source: “George Grant – Basil of Caesarea” Eighth Annual Credenda Agenda/Canon Press History Conference 2003.

Our friend Jeff Moss picked out this choice quote from the same lecture:

“Interestingly, by almost all accounts, it was the delicate, retiring, and sensitive Basil of Caesarea who stood foursquare against the surging sea of heresy and apostasy, who seemed to leave a dynamic mark that would endure long after his death.”

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Steve Macias
Father Steve Macias is an Anglican priest in California's Silicon Valley. He is the Headmaster of Canterbury Christian School, Rector of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, and Archdeacon of the West Coast for the Anglican Churches of America. He is married to Sarah and the father to Athanasius, Anselm, Assumpta, Basil and Zoe. His professional work consulting with political campaigns, leading nonprofit organizations, and in the California State Capitol has been recognized by The Los Angeles Times, National Review Magazine, Our Sunday Visitor, The Chalcedon Foundation, and numerous online and print publications. You can reach him on twitter @stevemacias.