Icon of Saint Basil, the Fool for Christ – S241

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This icon of Saint Basil, the Fool-for-Christ, is from the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Sol’vychegodsk, Russia.  Saint Basil the Blessed was born a.d. 1468-9 in Yelokovo, near Moscow.  His family was poor but pious serfs.  Saint Basil went to work as an apprentice shoemaker, but then moved to Moscow and lived the extremely difficult life of a “yurodivy,” or Fool-for-Christ, which even renounces normal reason in ardent pursuit of Christ before all things, and thus is considered foolishness to men.

Going naked in the streets, he upset vendors’ goods that were later learned harmful.  He was clairvoyant and saw the inner hearts of men, could see the future, and prophesied to those who would listen.  Saint Basil spent his nights outdoors on the porch of a church.  When the Crimean Khan Makhmet-Guirey invaded Moscow in a.d. 1521, Saint Basil’s prayers before the Vladimir Icon of the Theotokos turned the khan away with a fearful vision.  He had already reached the suburbs of the city, and then soon left the Russian lands entirely.   Saint Basil corrected Tsar Ivan the Terrible often, but was loved by him.  Saint Basil died at age 88 in a.d. 1552.    

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Church Feast Day 1



Egg Tempera


Solvychegodsk Museum of History and Art, Solvychegodsk, Russia




16th c. (Late)