Thursday January 7th – ‘A Pokey Little Hole’.


Robbie Dempsey

Basil was not above using his friends to further his aims. Thus Gregory of Nazianzus found himself bishop of a provincial town called Sasima. He was not pleased. In a letter to Basil he described it as an ‘utterly dreadful, pokey little hole; a paltry horse-stop on the main road where it splits into three on its way through Cappadocia; place wholly devoid of water, vegetation, or the company of gentlemen. All dust, and noise, and wagons, weepings and lamentations, magistrates, implements of torture and leg irons … this was my Church of Sasima!’ He made little effort to administer his diocese, telling Basil he preferred instead to pursue the contemplative life.

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