Feast Day of Saint Basil the Fool

August 2 is the feast day of Saint Basil the Fool, aka Basil the Blessed, Wonderworker of Moscow, Blessed Basil of Moscow, or Fool for Christ;

Born to serfs in December of 1468 or 1469, he was originally a shoemaker in Moscow. He adopted an eccentric lifestyle of shoplifting and giving to the poor to shame the miserly and help those in need.

He went naked and weighed himself down with chains. He rebuked Ivan the Terrible for not paying attention in church and for his violent behaviour towards the innocent.

When he died on August 2, 1552 or 1557, St Macarius, Metropolital of Moscow, served his funeral with many clergy and Ivan the Terrible himself was one of the pallbearers. He is buried in St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.

Basil was formally canonized around 1580.


This image is of what is arguably the most beautiful building in the world. Westerners call it Saint Basil’s Cathedral, but it was originally called Trinity Church. In Russia, it has two official names is the Church of Intercession of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat and the Temple of Basil the Blessed. When these names are listed together, the latter is always mentioned second. The common Western translation incorrectly bestows the status of cathedral on the church.

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