St Bassian of Lodi: Living the Word of God

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Dear beloved, we remember Saint Bassian, Bishop of Lodi, and wonderworker, who lived and taught people the Word of God. Saint Bassian, pray for us.

Saint Bassian’s father was a governor in ancient Sicily. The saint’s father wanted him to follow his footsteps in government, and sent the young saint to Rome for formal education. The young saint was curious about Christianity and learned much of the faith from Father Gordian. During the holy baptism, the saint saw an angel in the baptismal font, and held the garment of the angel and asked where the angel was from. The angel replied to the saint that he was sent to help the saint fulfill his holy intention to know Christ, and then the angel vanished. Henceforth, the baptized young saint began to lead a pious and strict life, eating little, and spending a great deal of time in prayer. His servants reported his behavior to the saint’s father. The saint’s father ordered Saint Bassian to return home, but the saint distributed his wealth to the poor, and sent off to see Bishop Ursus in Ravenna instead.

The saint stayed as a solitary and advanced spiritually, with many miracles. For example, a judge wrongly accused to death was to be executed by beheading. The judge prayed to the saint for intercession along the journey. When the executioner tried to behead the judge, the sword was knocked from his hands, 3 times. Another executioner experienced the same thing. Eventually, the emperor, upon hearing this miracle, let the judge go free. The judge told others how he was saved by the intercessory prayers of Saint Bassian.

Beyond the wonderworking of the saint, he was teaching the people the Word of God. He also led his people by example, living out his life piously and virtuously. The saint reposed peacefully in 430 AD, after serving as an archbishop for 35 years.

As we reflect on the tempestuous journeys we take in life, such as when Christ our Lord was on sea (St Matthew 8:23-27), let us remember that while the seas of life may be treacherous, the winds and the seas obey the commands of our Lord and Savior. What determines our outcomes in life is not about whether Christ can save us, but whether we place our faith in Him, and through Him, all things are possible. Just as Saint Bassian showed us, even if he was merely human, God worked through the saint many wonders, for the salvation and safety of others around him.

Saint Bassian served as a shepherd to his flock for so many decades, quietly slogging away for his flock’s salvation. That would not have happened if his flock did not cooperate with the saint to work for their own salvation and pilgrimage towards God, as we reflect on Hebrews 13:17-21.

Let us continue to pray the Holy Name of our Lord in our hearts daily, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”.

Let us close by praying the thanksgiving prayer:

It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify thee.

O virgin Theotokos, rejoice; O Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr Raphael+

Deuteronomy 32:12-14
Psalm 3:3-6
St Matthew 8:23-27
Hebrews 13:17-21