Life of Saint John the Theologian – Chapter 11

The Life and Struggles of the
Holy Apostle and Evangelist
John the Theologian

Chapter 11

Basil and Grace

In the city of Flora there was another wealthy man, named Basil, who was noble and distinguished, but wasa pagan. His wife, Grace, was barren. One day, Basil visited a a nephew of Myron, whose name was Rhodon, and said: ‘What news is there in the house of thy kinsman Myron? Why doth he confine himself to those of his own household and the stranger who sojourneth with him, and does not visit us or speak with us? What exactly is the teaching of the man who dwelleth there? Tell me, if you please.’ Rhodon said to Basil: ‘Many marvel at the an; and I have heard it said that whatever the foreigner saith, it never faileth to come about.’ Basil then said to Rhodon: ‘Is it possible that by his words my wife might conceive?’ Rhodon answered: ‘They say of him that this too he can do.’ When Basil heard this, he went to Myron’s house, saying that he desired to speak with John. When John was told this by Myron, he received Basil gladly, who entered and reverenced the blessed one. John then spake with Basil saying: ‘The Lord fulfil all thine requests, and blessed is that man who doth not tempt God in his heart. Yet, O Basil, the Israelites tempted God, Who was incapable of being tempted; but inasmuch as He is good, He gave them his blessing. Once He split asunder the rock in the wilderness,and gave the disobedient ones to drink, and brought forth waters like rovers; then, another time, He sent to the ungrateful ones bread to eat from out of heaven – for which they did not labor; and yet another time, He sent them meat to satiety. But this stubborn and stiff-necked people did not believe in thee marvellous works of God. Wherefore, do thou not, O Basil, tempt God if thou dost not wish to suffer evil. Believe in Him, and all thy requests will He fulfill.’

Basil understood then that, whatever he had in his heart, John already knew, and said to the apostle of Christ: ‘I believed and believe, O teacher. But, I beseech thee;: entreat thy God that my wife may bear a child.’ John replied: ‘If thou believest, thou wilt see the power of God.’ Then John exhorted Basil concerning many things. Basil then left Myron’s house and went straight home. The following day, he went with his wife, Grace, to Myron’s house, and they reverenced the apostle. John then said to Grace, ‘Rejoice, O Grace; may the grace of God enlighten the hearts of both thee and thy husband, and grant thee godly fruit of the womb.’ After exhorting them sufficiently, the grace of the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they besought John to baptize them. After he had baptized them, they asked him to come and bless their home, which he did, and then returned to Myron’s house. The wife of Basil then conceived and, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, bore a son, naming him John. Basil then took a considerable amount of gold and presented it to the apostle, that he might distribute it among the poor. John said to him: ‘Go, my son, and distribute thy goods wirth thine own hands, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.

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